The Reds attacker, brought to Anfield by Brendan Rodgers, has come in leaps and bounds under Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino is “the most important” player at Anfield, according to Reds ex-player Joe Cole, in conversation with BT Sport.
The Brazil international put in yet another superb display as Jurgen Klopp’s charges came from behind to beat Newcastle United 3-1 at Anfield and maintain their perfect start to the season.
Firmino was left out of Liverpool’s starting XI as he was involved for his nation in midweek, and also with an eye to next Tuesday’s Champions League trip to Napoli, but when he was brought on, he was scintillating.
Despite not getting on the scoresheet, the 27-year-old weighed in with two assists, including a simply stupendous back-heel to set up Mohamed Salah for the killer third goal which put the Anfield side out of reach on 72 minutes, and earned himself the Man of the Match award.
Cole spoke very highly of Firmino, who joined Liverpool in 2015 under Brendan Rodgers’ watch, but under Klopp he has gone from strength to strength, and the retired England international also noted how the Northern Irishman may have not seen him as the “focal point” – while now he is, the team is definitely reaping the dividends.
“He really is the most important cog in this wheel,” Joe told BT Sport. “These fans and this club have seen some fantastic players over the years but he’s doing things now where he’s up there with anyone. 50 goals, the first Brazilian to do that, and what he does, when he brings other players into the game, he’s so unselfish. He’s a great player and was wonderful to watch today.
“Sometimes in your career you find a manager that fits you, knows your his guy and helps you mature as a player. I think Brendan [Rodgers] maybe didn’t see him as that focal point. Jurgen obviously has had more eyes on him because he played in the Bundesliga for so long, but as soon as he opened the door he put his arm round him, getting the best out of him.”
Liverpool have now won 14 league games in a row in a run that stretches back to a draw at Everton in March – the joint third-best winning run in English top-flight history – and go five points clear at the top ahead of Manchester City’s late game with Norwich City (BBC Sport).
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