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Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has said that Roberto Firmino should not be starting in big games for Liverpool anymore, citing it as symptomatic of the problem’ will Jurgen Klopp’s side right now.
The Sky Sports pundit was deeply critical of Liverpool after they lost 4-1 to Napoli in their opening UEFA Champions League match, and will hope they can rectify it when they face Ajax.
The scathing report, which he wrote in his Daily Telegraph column, read:
“When I see James Milner and Roberto Firmino starting big games for Liverpool in the Premier League or Europe, it is symptomatic of the problem.
“Likewise, Firmino is in the last year of his deal for a reason.
“He has been an amazing player for Liverpool, sure to be remembered as one of the main reasons for Liverpool’s success under Klopp.
“But he’s been in decline for two years, his role gradually evolving to the point where last year he was back-up to Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane.
“Now he seems to be first pick as the false nine again.
“That cannot be right, even if he has performed well in some of the games so far.”
Carragher is right in the fact that Firmino has risen up the pecking order, but the Brazilian has started the season well - picking up three goals and three assists in the Premier League so far this term.
So much so, four-time Champions League winner Clarence Seedorf said that he should be starting every game for Liverpool.
Added to the fact that Darwin Nunez was sent off against Crystal Palace, meaning he was suspended for three games for headbutting Joachim Andersen, and Diogo Jota was sidelined by injury, it is understandable why the Brazilian has been selected ahead of them.
In the future, it is clear Liverpool will go in a different direction, but Firmino could be able to provide some crucial contribution in a season sandwiching a World Cup in Qatar.