Jurgen Klopp has refuted suggestions that Roberto Firmino has only produced for Liverpool against the Premier League’s biggest teams.
Firmino should be rewarded for his two-goal performance against Arsenal in midweek with another start in the false nine position against Manchester United on Sunday.
The Brazil international was asked to perform a right-sided role by former manager Brendan Rodgers in the dismal 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford back in September, which was the beginning of the rot setting in for Rodgers.
Firmino was totally ineffective that day, but under Klopp his best performances have come against Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal.
However, Klopp insists the 24-year-old is not just a big game player.
“He was at Stoke (in the Capital One Cup earlier this month) in a really good moment, so it’s not [he only performs] against big teams,” Klopp said.
“I like these matches when a player shows ‘I don’t care who the opponent is’ attitude.
“He’s young enough to do much better and to do it much more often.
“Roberto needs time, of course. He’s settling in better and better.
“Now he has a lot of information for himself: how he should react in this position, what he has to do when he has to be in the box, when he has to not be in the box, when he has to come and play with us and when he has to push the last line back, things like this.
“It’s not a position he has played 500 times, so it’s all about learning.
“That (two goals against Arsenal) was a really big step for him and hopefully he can do it again.”