Jurgen Klopp thinks the player that epitomises Liverpool’s style and leads from the front, Roberto Firmino, will be ready to face West Ham on Premier League Opening Day.
He even reckons the Brazilian will play some part in our remaining pre-season friendlies against Napoli on Saturday and Torino three days later.
The boss was talking from Liverpool’s camp in Evian, where the players are currently undergoing gruelling three-session days in order to enter 2018/19 in maximum fitness.
Firmino missed our tour of America as he was still on holiday following his exploits at the World Cup, but his focus is now solely on LFC – even if he has had a change of barnet!
“He changed something with his hair, I am not 100 per cent sure what. I think now it’s black? And I didn’t see it, but I heard during his holiday it was silver – but that’s the only difference,” he told the official website.
“All the rest is like it was when he left. It’s good to have him here, he looks in good shape, and if possible we will see [if he can play against Napoli]. Training for the outfield players is obviously different than for the goalies, but we want to see him as well against Napoli. We will see for how long.
“When we start against West Ham, he will have had then two weeks after three weeks off, it should be possible but we will see until then.
“In the moment he looks good, his programme is obviously pretty different. He is part of most of the sessions when the boys do something different that is not the highest intensity, so then he needs to do a little bit more, like Trent will do now.
“Step by step, they are all coming back and it’s the best news.”
Last season, Firmino scored 27 goals in all competitions – his best ever return by some distance.
His job in our side is not to solely score goals, but considering he’s rarely injured and is part of one of the most exciting attacks on the planet, he’ll get plenty of chances to post a similar tally in 2018/19.
With Sadio Mane and Mo Salah either side, Liverpool can beat anybody on our day – but the trick is to post consistent wins and put ourself in a position near the top by Christmas – from which point we can fight on.