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Jürgen Klopp offers’exciting’Roberto Firmino insight that hints at $107m Liverpool challenge



Jürgen Klopp offers’exciting’Roberto Firmino insight that hints at $107m Liverpool challenge

It has been around a week since Roberto Firmino played his final game for Liverpool, scoring in a chaotic 4-4 draw against Southampton. Nevertheless, the heartfelt tributes to his remarkable career at Anfield are showing no signs of dispersing any time soon.

The Reds will release a three-part series on Firmino in the middle of June, which can be watched on LFCTV GO. The documentary will feature contributions from many of his teammates past and present, with Jürgen Klopp also featuring as a prominent voice considering his impact on his career.

Indeed, the German coach featured in a teaser clip that was shared on social media this week. Based on his praise of the number nine in the video, it is clear that Firmino was essentially the architect of Liverpool’s original 4-3-3 system under Klopp, and he was the player who formed the heart of the team’s tactical make-up.

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“You would have seen me alone in the office. On the tactics board, it was constantly ‘Bobby here, Bobby there’,” he said. “A sensational, technically skilled boy. I saw him at Hoffenheim and wanted to have him for Borussia Dortmund, but he was unaffordable. Hoffenheim brought in a few interesting Brazilians, but Bobby was the most exciting. When I heard that he would go to Liverpool, I really thought he was an exceptional player.”

The Reds boss didn’t have a great deal to work with when he first arrived on Merseyside. Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah hadn’t yet been signed, and Christian Benteke did not seem to be a suitable fit having recently moved to Anfield from Aston Villa, with Klopp deciding to shape his attack around Firmino.

The South American was technical, shrewd, intense, unselfish and difficult to dispossess, and he had a natural desire to help his midfield teammates by dropping into deeper areas. To ensure that he would be able to contribute in a positive manner, Klopp used the transfer market to acquire players who would mask his two primary weaknesses.

Firmino was special, but he wasn’t particularly fast, and he didn’t score as many goals as the typical number nine. Liverpool had to address those concerns using the market, acquiring speedsters Mané and Salah, who would offer the pace and penetration that was lacking.

Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

(Image: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

As a trident, the three players delivered every available piece of silverware to Anfield, including the Premier League and Champions League. Mané is regarded as a Liverpool great, and Salah remains on Merseyside as a record-breaker who will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the club’s most dangerous stars.

Neither Mané nor Salah might have been signed by Klopp if it wasn’t for Firmino’s presence through the middle. He was the pillar from which to build on, which perhaps captures the almost impossible challenge that lies ahead for Darwin Núñez, the striker purchased for a fee that could rise to as much as $107m (£86m/€100m).

The Uruguayan joined for a potentially club-record transfer fee from Benfica last summer. He arrived as a true poacher who was entirely different to Firmino considering his instinct, quickness and desire to finish moves rather than retreating into midfield to help with build-up play.

Twelve months after arriving on English shores, Núñez is still very much getting used to life on Merseyside. He scored nine goals and registered three assists in his debut Premier League campaign, but he’s failed to establish himself as a fixed starter so far, with Klopp appearing to favor Cody Gakpo since signing the Dutchman from PSV Eindhoven in January.

Up until now, Núñez has almost looked like a victim of the initial tactical blueprint that Klopp established all those years ago. He seems in need of a fresh masterplan to really explode in England, and with Firmino calling time on his Anfield career this summer, he could get exactly that next term.

The 23-year-old starlet has big boots to fill but if he does end up succeeding in the famous red shirt, he will do so in a completely different way to his predecessor.


Liverpool rivals prepare for transfer as Jamie Carragher aims Man United dig

Your Liverpool digest for Sunday, June 4.

Man City prepare for key exit as Liverpool get concerning transfer news from Manchester United

After a season of disappointment at Anfield, as Liverpool missed out on the bright lights of the Champions League for the first time in Jurgen Klopp’s seven full seasons at the club, the summer transfer window is one of huge importance for the Reds’ recruitment team.

Earlier this week, veteran German sporting director Jorg Schmadtke was drafted in on a short-term deal to replace the outgoing Julian Ward and will spend his summer months and beyond working alongside Klopp, and scouts Dave Fallows and Barry Hunter to help supplement a squad in need of reinforcements after a fifth-placed finish in the Premier League.

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While the minds of those at the AXA Training Centre will chiefly be focused on the task at hand and subsequently the Reds’ own recruitment, eyes will no doubt glance at business elsewhere in the Premier League this summer, albeit even briefly, to assess the credentials of Liverpool’s top-four competitors ahead of the new season.

Read the full story HERE

Jamie Carragher sends brutal Liverpool reminder to Man United fans in FA Cup final dig

Jamie Carragher has joked that Manchester United fans have been supporting their rivals Manchester City for the ‘last five seasons’.

Erik ten Hag’s side lost 2-1 to City in the FA Cup final on Saturday afternoon at Wembley Stadium after two goals from Ilkay Gundogan either side of a Bruno Fernandes penalty.

The former Liverpool defender took to social media to reinforce a tweet by an Arsenal fan account stating that United had been ‘supporting’ for City rivals in recent times.

An Arsenal fan account on Twitter tweeted a joke about United not wanting the Gunners to win the Premier League: “Why are Man United fans upset? You’ve been supporting Man City all season.”

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Jamie Carragher questions Man Utd over timing of transfer news

Mac Allister talks progress after Brighton tell Liverpool what they want to hear

Liverpool star admitted VAR would have caught him ‘cheating’ in FA Cup final

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