The explanation behind Roberto Firmino’s disappointing performance against Fulham in Liverpool’s Premier League opener last weekend has been given by the manager, Jurgen Klopp.
New signing Darwin Nunez, Mohamed Salah, and Luis Diaz were expected to lead the frontline. However, others questioned the German tactician’s decision to start Firmino.
At Craven Cottage, the Brazilian had a rough afternoon and was generally unproductive in the first half, and early in the second half, Nunez took his spot.
The Uruguayan striker made an immediate effect, scoring in the 64th and 80th minutes, respectively, and setting up Mohamed Salah’s goal for Liverpool.
However, Jurgen Klopp defended Firmino and explained why he struggled against Marco Silva’s side. The 30-year-old’s importance to the Reds’ was also highlighted by the former Borussia Dortmund boss, who also showed his support for the player after the fans went hard on him.
As per Liverpoolecho, Klopp said:
“Very important. If we take now our last game against Fulham, we didn’t find Bobby probably because the center was often blocked. That’s why it was difficult for him. Apart from that, I don’t judge Bobby after one game.”
Nunez is expected to start for Klopp against Crystal Palace on August 15 at Anfield. The disappointing draw with Fulham last weekend will be the German’s motivation to bounce back.
Once Diogo Jota recovers from injury, Roberto Firmino might drop farther down the pecking order.
Firmino did not help himself with his poor performance against newly promoted Fulham, as Nunez is expected to take his place in the starting lineup. Once Diogo Jota returns from injury, the Brazilian might drop even further down the hierarchy at Anfield.
The Portugal international had a fantastic 2021–22 season, making 55 appearances across all competitions, scoring 21 goals, and helping the Reds win the FA Cup and EFL Cup.
The 25-year-old suffered a recurrence of an injury that he initially sustained in June while on international duty.
He is expected to regain full fitness soon and will once again play a significant role in the team.