Liverpool could be handed a significant boost ahead of their clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers, with Roberto Firmino’s reported return to fitness.
The Brazilian missed the Reds’ last Premier League clash, the 1-0 defeat to Fulham at Anfield, with a knee injury but he is set to be assessed of the trip to Molineux on Monday.
Should he be fit enough to start for the Reds, Jurgen Klopp has to put him in from the beginning of the match, even with Diogo Jota also returning to contention in recent weeks and gunning to start against his former club.
Put simply, the former Hoffenheim man is a key player for the current reigning Premier League champions.
In 37 appearances in all competitions so far this season, he has 13 goal contributions – six goals and seven assists. Only Sadio Mane and Mo Salah have contributed more to Liverpool.
His statistics also put him right at the top end of Liverpool’s attacking output. According to WhoScored, the 29-year-old averages 2.4 shots, one key pass and 1.6 dribbles per match in the Premier League.
This is some way higher than the player who may likely replace him in starting line-up, Jota. The former Wolves man averages just 1.9 shots, 0.6 key passes and one dribble per game.
It would not make a lot of sense to keep the Portuguese in the starting XI at the expense of Firmino then.
Some will argue that there is no need to reintroduce him so quickly especially after recovering from injury. However, with a player so key to Liverpool, with Klopp even labelling him as “special”, it would seem baffling to leave the £64.8m-rated forward out of the side.