Roberto Firmino has taken plenty of flack at Liverpool over the last 18 months.
In spite of all the success that the Reds have enjoyed since they lifted the Champions League trophy in 2019, Firmino’s statistics haven’t necessarily followed the same trajectory.
Sure, the argument that Firmino is more than a goalscorer is a well-trodden path, but such has been the decline in his goals recently that fans have been wondering whether it’s time to move on.
Firmino under fire
His 27-goal haul from the 2017/18 campaign now feels like a distant memory with just nine Premier League strikes gracing his record last season and just five in all competitions so far in 2020/21.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher made that very point, saying: “I’m still confident that Mane and Salah will start scoring goals again, but I must say I am worried for Firmino.
“He’s never been seen as the goal scorer, that’s the responsibility of the other two. But he’s there to chip in and when they’re not scoring, and I just feel he needs to be a bigger goal threat.
“Yesterday [against Manchester United], he had a couple of chances but he’s not quite striking the ball right. His bringing players into the game has dropped off too.”
Don’t forget Firmino’s quality
Now, we’re not here to dispute that Firmino’s form has declined in recent months because the blank statements about his qualities away from finishing don’t automatically whisk away all the criticism.
However, it’s important to remember the world-class level from which Firmino has been slipping because his recent performances have by no means been completely devoid of quality.
In the absence of a better analogy, what we’re trying to say here is that a Ferrari that’s been on the road for two or three years, involved in a few bumps and scrapes, is still, well, a darn Ferrari.
Firmino’s highlights this season
And few things demonstrate that point better than a fantastic compilation of Firmino’s best skills and moments from the 2020/21 campaign courtesy of YouTuber ‘Thiago Charleston’.
You can check out the video down below to see Firmino’s brilliant moments this season that deserve far more credit than he’s been getting:
Sure, under the right circumstances, you can make anybody look like a world-beater with some clever editing and fussy selection of clips.
More than a goalscorer
But considering how widely slammed Firmino – who pockets £180,000-per-week – has been this season, you’d think his highlights from the last six months would be nothing more than one minute of misplaced passes and shots.
Rather, the Brazilian has amassed a whole smorgasbord of incisive flicks, intricate through-balls and hold-up play that has seen him reinvent the number 9 role in the Premier League all those years ago.