Sadio Mane has rushed to Bobby Firmino’s defence, as the the Brazilian has increasingly come under fire for his perceived poor run of form of late for Liverpool.
The 29-year-old has registered 11 goal contributions in 25 Premier League games this term, but is well-known to be more valuable to the side as a link-up man for the forward line and midfield.
“He deserves more credit than me and Mo, for sure,” the Senegalese forward told ESPN Brazil (via Sky Sports). “But it is part of football, (people) always seeing the goals scored. But without Bobby, I don’t see me and Mo score as many goals as we have, to be honest.”
Such is the striker’s supposed dwindling of powers that club journalist James Pearce penned a piece recently urging Jurgen Klopp to bring in a new No.9 in the summer.
For much of the squad this season, in light of a consistently burgeoning injury list, rotation and rest have been virtually non-existent, as is demonstrated perfectly by the fact that Andy Robertson has not missed a single game of league football.
We’re willing to accept that fatigue may have come into play here, not to mention the general upsetting of team balance following the sidelining of key stars.
All in all, however, the Anfield favourite’s performances this term haven’t quite been up to scratch – a break in play for the former Hoffenheim man is a must, though one that won’t be possible until Diogo Jota returns to the side.
With Divock Origi proving to be a poor alternative this season, Liverpool face a particularly active summer window in which to replace deadweight and add extra firepower capable of propelling the Reds back into a title fight.