Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insists Brazil striker Roberto Firmino brings much more to the team than goals.
Firmino’s place in the side has been brought into focus because of the form of summer signing Diogo Jota, who has scored seven goals in 10 matches.
Last season no Premier League player won possession more than Firmino’s 37.
“He was the difference-maker so many times,” said Klopp, who added he would “feel really embarrassed” to list all the qualities of the 29-year-old.
Liverpool signed Firmino from Hoffenheim in 2015 on a five-year deal for a fee of about £29m.
He has scored 58 Premier League goals in 182 appearances, with last season’s return of nine the first campaign in which he did not reach double figures.
A key component of Firmino’s role, however, is to lead the forward press and create space for the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, a contributing factor last term as Liverpool won their first top-flight title for 30 years.
“I don’t have to say one word about Bobby Firmino and how important he was for us, I don’t waste time with that,” Klopp said.
“He was in so many games the difference-maker without scoring maybe, I’m not sure, but with scoring as well in other games, so I would feel really embarrassed if I had to mention now the qualities of Bobby Firmino.
“I can’t help these people, sorry. . That’s how it is.”
Liverpool head to Manchester City on Sunday looking to atone for their 4-0 defeat in July, which came just days after their first league title since 1990 had been confirmed.
The Reds finished 18 points above second-placed City last term and are already five points above them this season.
However, Klopp said: “It’s of course nothing even close to a title decider.
“We all know you need to be lucky with injuries, you need to find a way every three days to beat the next opponent, which is itself already incredibly important but with the last game in your legs, it’s even more difficult.”
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