Much of the hard work of forward Roberto Firmino have often gone unnoticed but that is changing with the departure of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has said.
Firmino, 26, has enjoyed a fine campaign, scoring 20 goals in all competitions this season and Klopp feels Coutinho’s move to Barcelona in January has allowed his fellow Brazilian – who has netted seven times in eight Champions League games – to take more of the limelight.
“When I came in I said immediately that I was happy Roberto was here,” the German said ahead of his side’s last-16 tie against Porto.
“I don’t think he has stepped up recently but maybe it is more obvious because his situations are not overshadowed by Phil Coutinho’s situations. That’s how it is.
“He’s a very important player and he doesn’t always have to be the standout player. As often as he can be, that’s good.
“Is he underrated? I don’t think so, not anymore. I don’t know what other people think about Roberto Firmino. But people with a football brain judge him right.”
Along with his 20 goals in 36 games, Firmino has also provided 11 assists in all competitions.