Why Liverpool 25-year-old could suffer if this summer plan goes ahead
COMMENT By Matt Farr
Liverpool have a very important summer ahead of them.
Their rollercoaster campaign this term has highlighted the improvements made under the stewardship of Jurgen Klopp, but it has also dug up a number of concerns that need fast addressing if they value their future success.
The key to any genuine Premier League title challenge in the coming years, for example, will centre on the club acquiring a prolific goalscorer this summer.
But while it is a solution they so desperately need, it could have severe ramifications for current attacking star Roberto Firmino.
The 25-year-old has thrived this season having been handed a central attacking role under Klopp.
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He has played predominantly as a centre-forward this term – to great reward – contributing 12 goals and 10 assists from 37 appearances in all competitions.
But if Liverpool were to spend big-money on a new centre-forward, the new arrival is not going to be sitting on the bench.
Therefore, Firmino is likely to drop back into a wider role, where has been less productive, and that could see him suffer.
If Liverpool want to get the best out of Firmino, they need to allow him free reign of the central areas, much like Philippe Coutinho.
Taking that away from him could limit his influence on games, and as we’ve seen from him this season, Liverpool can’t afford to lose that.
He has stepped up when required in the big games, and is currently in a rich vein of form, with three goals and four assists from his last six Premier League appearances.
Any new arrival will take time adjusting to Liverpool’s gameplan and system, but it could take even more time for the club to strike a balance that enables the goalscorer to do the job required, and for Firmino to excel.