Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp believes Roberto Firmino is gaining more attention and appreciation from fans and the media, following the departure of Philippe Coutinho.
Brazilian forwards Firmino and Coutinho spent two and a half seasons linking up together on Merseyside, until the latter left for Barcelona in the January transfer window for £142m.
However, Firmino has maintained his excellent form, scoring four goals and picking up three assists in his last six matches.
The former Hoffenheim forward was instrumental to Liverpool's weekend win over Southampton in scoring the opener, before assisting Mohamed Salah with an excellent backheeled flick.
Klopp has praised the electric partnership between Firmino and Salah, with the latter also enjoying a phenomenal season as Liverpool's leading goalscorer.
Speaking ahead of the Champions League clash against FC Porto, Klopp expressed his delight at his number nine's good run.
"When I came in, I said immediately that I was happy Roberto was here," Klopp said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
"I don't think he has stepped up recently, but maybe it is more obvious because his situations are not overshadowed by Phil Coutinho's situations. That's how it is.
"He's a very important player and he doesn't always have to be the standout player. As often as he can be, that's good."
As he garners more credit for his work rate and goal contributions, Klopp added that Firmino is no longer one of the league's underrated stars and that people with a 'football brain' already know his ability.
"Is he underrated? I don't think so, not anymore. I don't know what other people think about
Roberto Firmino, but people with a football brain judge him right," Klopp added.
Firmino has hit the twenty-goal mark in his third season with the Reds, including six goals in as many games in the Champions League.