James Pearce has stated his belief that Bobby Firmino has “gone past his peak”, in light of the forward’s drop-off in performances this term.
From a statistical point of view, in addition to the eye test, this would certainly appear to be the case for the beloved Liverpool star.
However, one might be inclined to argue that the Brazilian’s high standards have fallen short in direct correlation with the injury crisis in defence, with the Reds team structure dismantled by the chopping and changing of the backline, and the dragging down of midfielders.
If we can defend Thiago Alcantara on the basis of the injuries suffered, there has to be some leeway granted for the Brazilian who has not missed a single game of Premier League football this season.
Fatigue will have certainly played its part, but the true extent of Firmino’s potential decline won’t be revealed until Jurgen Klopp has a full-strength Liverpool side to play around with once more.
That’s certainly not to say that we couldn’t do with further reinforcements this summer, with the signing of Diogo Jota last year adding another edge to the club’s forward line.
You can catch the clip below (at 2:18), courtesy of The Athletic: