The form of Roberto Firmino means a way to have him in the Liverpool team is vital, according to Phil Thompson.
Former Liverpool captain Phil Thompson has urged his old club to hand Roberto Firmino a new contract, insisting a way of keeping him in the staring XI needs to be found.
The Reds have made an inconsistent start to the new season but it has been a different story when it comes to their Brazilian number nine. In 12 appearances across all competitions, the 31-year-old has plundered eight goals and provided four assists so far this season.
Jurgen Klopp recently mixed up his team formation with a 4-2-3-1 configuration, but regardless of whether he returns to the tried and trusted 4-3-3 for the visit of Manchester City, former Reds captain Thompson feels that Firmino has to be in there somewhere.
How do you fit Bobby Firmino in? He’s got to play Darwin Nunez, who scored in the last couple of games, but then Bobby can’t play left, can’t play right, so does he go 4-2-3-1 as he has in the last few games? Then you can see Bobby as a No.10, and he deserves to be in the team. Will Jurgen go to 4-3-3 and match up a little bit with Manchester City?”
Liverpool are in urgent need of a win against City to get their Premier League season back on track and try and close the gap to the teams above them. City are currently 13 points clear of the Reds and can extend that advantage to 16 should they leave Anfield on Sunday with all three points.
But despite making a rocky start, Thompson – who won seven league titles with the Reds – still believes that his old club will recover and finish in the Champions League qualification places.
He added: “I do think we’ll finish in the top four. We are having one of those blips as we did the other year when we lost six on the run at home – people forget that – and we certainly came out of that well enough. And I think this team will do.
“At this early stage, that extra game that we need to catch up is a huge thing at the moment and that is hanging over us. You take them and things look a lot brighter. When everything gets settled you’ll see Liverpool up there I have no worries about Liverpool being in the top four. Will there be a title race involved? Hopefully, but it doesn’t look that way at the moment.”