Liverpool man reveals how Klopp ‘changed everything’, as instant connection led to starring role
Roberto Firmino has revealed how Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp “changed everything” and allowed for a blossoming relationship between the pair.
Firmino initially arrived at Anfield as a Brendan Rodgers signing but will leave having truly made his mark under Klopp. In fact, with 311 outings, no Liverpool player has played more games for the German at Liverpool.
The Brazilian has proved influential for his goalscoring, as well as his work off the ball in pressing and linking midfield to attack.
Indeed, he initially combined both aspects to great effect, resulting in his best tally of 27 goals in the 2017/18 season. Firmino has struck 46 more since that campaign, with his work off the ball standing out more.
What has stayed the same, though, is Klopp’s love for Firmino. After Liverpool’s 5-0 win over Manchester United in October, the Reds boss claimed that people will “write books” about his interpretation of the false nine position.
Speaking to the club’s official magazine, Firmino opened up on his very first conversations with Klopp.
“That’s difficult! I remember we exchanged messages and in person it was when he arrived here at Liverpool,” the attacker said.
“I told him how happy I was that he’d come here and here I am today, very happy alongside him.
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“His arrival here changed everything. We really clicked and got on great immediately.
“I knew him already from playing against him in Germany, I knew him, he knew me. I grew and developed a lot here thanks to him.”
Indeed, Klopp and Firmino starred in the Bundesliga – with Borussia Dortmund and Hoffenheim – before they both moved to Liverpool.
Firmino vital for Liverpool despite being overtaken
Firmino’s 27 goals contributed to the deadly front three alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane hitting 91 goals between them in the 2017/18 campaign.
This term, though, Firmino been somewhat overshadowed in the Liverpool team.
A hamstring injury in November and a subsequent muscle issue in February have restricted him to 26 appearances in all competitions.
Meanwhile, 2020 signing Diogo Jota has stepped in to form another deadly front three with Salah and Mane.
Indeed, the trio helped the Reds reach 100 goals for the campaign in February.
But Firmino has proved in recent weeks that he can still provide a vital role off the bench as well. The 30-year-old put Liverpool ahead in their Champions League last 16 tie against Inter Milan.
Furthermore, his strike against Arsenal secured a vital three points for the Reds which moved them a point behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.