Roberto Firmino’s Liverpool season is over now Diogo Jota has returned from his long-term injury trouble.
That’s according to former Sunderland forward Kevin Phillips, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about Liverpool’s hot and cold striker.
Firmino, 29, has only scored six goals across 37 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool this season while Jota has 10 goals in 21 outings.
Jota missed 15 straight league games while he was sidelined and Liverpool only won five times without him in those matches.
Phillips insists Firmino simply isn’t scoring enough and once he returns from his current spell on the sidelines he will struggle to displace Jota in Jurgen Klopp’s side.
“Yeah, for me. Jota is a Firmino replacement in my opinion,” Phillips told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs when asked if Firmino will struggle to get back in the Liverpool side.
“I’ve always said that if any of the front three were to be moved on this summer it would be Firmino and I think it could happen.
“He’s been magnificent for Liverpool and he still is but he hasn’t scored enough goals this season.
“Jota coming in is like a breath of fresh air and he’s picked up where he left off. I loved him at Wolves and now he’s carried that on to an even bigger stage.
“I’d be very surprised if Firmino managed to get back in the side before the end of the season.”
Jota scored shortly after his return to the Liverpool side as his goal earned the Reds a 1-0 win against his former side Wolves last week.
Firmino has missed Liverpool’s last two Premier League games with a knee injury as the club’s injury list remains extensive with the Reds fighting for a top-four finish.