Jurgen Klopp has hailed the importance of Roberto Firmino in Liverpool's season so far, after the Brazilian forward netted his 19th strike of the campaign in the 0-3 away win over Huddersfield Town.
Firmino quickly established himself as Klopp's preferred option in the centre attacking role upon the German manager's arrival at Anfield in 2015. However, the 2017/18 season has without much argument probably been the most productive of the former Hoffenheim star's Reds career.
The neatly finished effort against Huddersfield on Tuesday night was Firmino's 11th Premier League goal of the season - already his joint best tally.
“He’s very important,” Klopp told Liverpool's official website, when asked about the forward's centrality to the team.
“We have a lot of quality in the team, of course, but still sometimes [at a high level], sometimes [low], sometimes [in the middle] – not really consistent all the time in our offensive [play].
“But Roberto delivers, delivers and delivers. He doesn’t score all the time, he is not always brilliant, but if he is not brilliant then he works like a horse. It’s very important that you have this kind of stability there."
Originally signed as an attacking midfielder, Firmino's consistency and work rate as well as goal return mean he has beaten off all competition for the lone central striking role under Klopp.
However, while more conventional 'strikers' Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge left to join Wolfsburg and West Brom on loan in search of more game time, Klopp has assured that Danny Ings and Dominic Solanke will get chances.
“Ingsy is in a very good way, Dom [Solanke] is in a very good way. But it is not easy to pass Roberto," Klopp added.
“Of course, there will be games when he [Firmino] cannot play, that’s absolutely OK. He played quite often, that means most of the time I think, ‘we should try it again with Roberto’.”