Jurgen Klopp Explains Why Roberto Firmino Is 'Outstanding' Even When He Doesn't Score

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Roberto Firmino has received the backing of Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp, with the German claiming his striker's goal scoring record doesn't need to improve. 

Firmino was signed during the tenure of Klopp's Liverpool predecessor Brendan Rodgers in a deal worth initially £29m, and Klopp has labelled the ex-Hoffenheim star as 'outstanding'.

The 25-year-old's record of 23 goals in 90 appearances for Liverpool leaves him averaging a goal nearly every four games for the Reds - hardly prolific and less impressive than his goal every 3.1 games while in Germany. 

However, in addition to his goals his build up play, work rate and partnership with Liverpool poster boy Philippe Coutinho has delighted the Anfield faithful over the last two seasons, and Klopp is also a big fan.

"With Roberto Firmino, people say he does not score enough" Klopp said, as quoted by Goal. "He is the best player without scoring with how well he reads the game for the benefit of others. Outstanding!

"But then what if he starts thinking ‘oh, I need more goals’ and starts shooting from all over the place when usually, he would play a clever ball and make a run to open up space," 

The Liverpool manager continued: "There needs to be one plan, one voice, one belief. It will not always be perfect because we are not perfect, but it is our way."

Although criticism of Firmino's goal return is something which seems justified, the Brazilian isn't naturally a striker. 

Having signed for Hoffenheim in 2011 from Brazilian outfit Tombense, Firmino spent the early part of his career as one of the most promising playmakers in the Bundesliga, before being converted into a front man at Anfield.