Roberto Firmino’s influence at Liverpool seems to be on the wane, according to Tifo Football’s Seb Stafford-Bloor.
The 49.5million-rated forward has contributed six goals and seven assists in all competitions this season.
Last season, he was directly involved in 25 goals (scoring 12 and assisting 13).
His statistical peak at Anfield came in 2017/18 when he netted 27 and set-up a further 17 – a grand total of 44 goal involvements.
Firmino’s underwhelms after Real recall
After being benched for the first leg, Firmino returned to Liverpool’s starting line-up for their Champions League quarterfinal second leg against Real Madrid in midweek.
The Reds were unable to overturn the 3-1 first-leg deficit, held to a goalless draw by Zinedine Zidane’s side.
Over the course of a decent but unspectacular 82 minutes, Firmino registered only one shot on target and created only one opportunity (via SofaScore).
“I don’t know whether this is an end-point in his Liverpool career, or whether he’s just suffering in the same way that the rest of the side is suffering,” Stafford-Bloor said on Friday’s podcast.
“He doesn’t look like the same influence in this kind of game.”
Liverpool’s front three: ‘It’s not just quite the same’
The Athletic reported in March that relationship between the players typically either side of Firmino – Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane – was ‘imperfect’.
Stafford-Bloor senses a reduction in ‘understanding’ among Liverpool’s attacking trio, who fired the club to the 2018/19 Champions League and 2019/20 Premier League titles.
“It feels as if the on-pitch relationship between him, Mane and Salah has changed a little bit,” he said.
“It just feels different. It feels less potent. It feels like the understanding isn’t quite what it was.
“I’ve read stories about tensions between Mane and Salah, I don’t know if they’re true or not.
“But it’s just not quite the same.”
“Firmino doesn’t quite have the same dragging effect on defenders or deep midfielders that he used to.”
Jota outshining Firmino
There is a significant gulf in form in Jurgen Klopp’s attacking ranks.
Salah, top scorer on 28, and Diogo Jota are averaging a goal every 129 and 123 minutes respectively (via BBC Sport).
But Firmino’s minutes per goal is way up at 471, with Sadio Mane at 265.