Premier League • England

Roberto Firmino gives Liverpool contract response as Klopp explains why another ‘incredibly valuable’ star must stay

Jurgen Klopp, Roberto Firmino Liverpool v Benfica April 2022

Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino has indicated he would like to stay with the club after Jurgen Klopp explained why he and one more player with an expiring contract will be useful to keep.

Firmino will be out of contract at the end of the season. He has been with Liverpool since 2015, becoming one of the most important players of Klopp’s reign. In total, he has made 348 appearances for the club, all but seven of which have come under Klopp.

In fact, the Liverpool manager has never given more appearances to any other player across his coaching career. And Firmino has been someone he can depend on, with 107 goals and 78 assists to his name.

Klopp spotted Firmino’s potential to play up front in a central role, which he has made effective. After a difficult 2021-22 season on an individual basis, Firmino has been thriving again in that territory this season.

Indeed, the Brazilian star has scored seven goals from 13 Premier League games this season. In all competitions, his record is nine goals from 21 appearances in 2022-23.

With Liverpool as a whole out of form, though, Firmino has stood out. Hence, it might make sense to extend his stay, despite Liverpool adding to their attack with the likes of Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo for this season.

And Firmino has now suggested his intention is to commit to Liverpool for a ninth season and beyond.

As quoted by Fabrizio Romano, Firmino has said: “It’s fantastic playing high-level football here with great players. I’m happy here and I intend to stay here and help Liverpool.”

His comments came as Klopp was also discussing his future. The German tactician has outlined why Firmino remains important to him, having established himself as the “only one who played a normal season” for Liverpool in the first few months of the campaign.

Asked why Firmino is yet to sign a new deal, Klopp responded: “What could be the reason? When you think a bit, where could it hang, could be the time (length of contract), the money, it is completely normal.

“Bobby knows the situation here and what we think of him.

“The first part of the season we were not flying but Bobby was the only one who played a normal season.

“He is really important, the link-up, in tight areas having a player with his footballing intelligence, you can develop the game from here.

“He is unselfish and you don’t get that very often. Great player.

“I don’t know 1,000 percent what his plans are, maybe someone else will offer him something better?”

Klopp also addresses James Milner future

Also out of contract at the end of the season for Liverpool will be James Milner, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adrian.

Reports have indicated that Keita will definitely be on his way out. Oxlade-Chamberlain is almost certain to leave too, while Adrian’s future is less of a major topic since he is only their third-choice goalkeeper.

But Milner is, along with Firmino, someone Liverpool will try to keep. Klopp has referred to his vice-captain as “incredibly valuable” as he continues to defy his age.

Milner recently turned 37 but has still managed to play 21 times in all competitions this season.

Klopp is consequently hoping that Milner agrees with their plans for him as he looks to continue his career.

The manager explained: “We have different plans for Milly but Milly wants to keep playing.

“When you see him play the other night (in the FA Cup replay victory at Wolves) I think everyone understands that.

“You can’t judge him normal for his age. He is 37, doesn’t look a day like this when he is in training. He is an incredibly important player and in this game (against Wolves) you saw that on the pitch as well.

“It is not that Milly expects to play 64 games a season but in 64 games a season Milly could be extremely important. That is how it is.

“Milly has reached 600 (Premier League) games and most of them for Liverpool.

“I am pretty sure the club should use his character and his mindset because it is really special.

“There might be more fancy players out there but no one with a similar mindset and that makes him incredibly valuable for us. And it is not because I am too loyal. It is just a fact.”

Coincidentally, Milner – who also joined the club in 2015 – is second to Firmino in terms of his number of appearances under Klopp.

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