Jurgen Klopp insists Roberto Firmino is fully deserving of a new contract thanks to his remarkable progression at Liverpool this season.
The Brazilian’s 22 goals in 38 games across all competitions marks the current campaign as his most productive since joining the Reds, in turn quashing doubts over his value as a central striker.
His boisterous defending from the front has consolidated his place as arguably the first name on Klopp’s team sheet and spearheaded one of Europe’s most electrifying attacking forces.
There are perhaps no other Reds as worthy of such a reward than Firmino, with the 26-year-old having improved yet again this season and taken the reigns from Philippe Coutinho in admirable fashion over the past few months.
“It (the new contract) is very important for both sides,” Klopp told the Liverpool Echo.
“I think everything we are doing, the way we play, the way we give him the opportunity constantly to play, he deserves that.”
“He deserves that because his work-rate is outstanding but it helped him a lot to step up. He became a different player here. Other teams can say ‘Hmmm, he’s really good’ but it is not sure they will play the same way and use him as a nine or a 10 or they’ll use him out on the wings.”
“It is never sure but of course it is important to keep these players who are at a good age and when there is still space for improvement. There is no doubt we want to do that. It’s not that their contracts are ending in the summer, but you can imagine we’re trying to do that (agree an extension).”
Firmino has added a vital dimension by finally supplying the figures in front of goal to compliment his model work ethic in Klopp’s demanding system.
Not even Mohamed Salah’s incredible success on Merseyside has been able to disguise Firmino’s impact as an all-action focal point responsible for the grit behind Liverpool’s glam in the final-third.
Salah himself has also been tipped to earn a new deal at Anfield as the club strives to fend off potential interest from the likes of Real Madrid.
Sadio Mane has similarly been touted as one of the frontrunners to be offered a new deal in recognition of his importance as part of the club’s notorious front three.