Former Liverpool forward John Aldridge believes that Virgil van Dijk should communicate more with Roberto Firmino, whom he thinks is getting too "frustrated" after a series of below-par performances.
The Brazilian forward scored an impressive 27 goals in 54 games last season, but has started the new campaign slowly, having netted just four times in 12 appearances thus far.
Speaking about Firmino's dip in form, Aldridge expressed his belief that the Liverpool attacker is letting his frustrations get the better of him and that this is a key reason for his poor performances.
“Firmino is just out of sorts completely - I don't know what's wrong with him mentally - but he's just not on the same wavelength as anyone else on the pitch.
“He's getting that frustrated he's coming to the back four to try and receive possession."
Liverpool won’t “click” until Roberto Firmino finds top form. He’s not our best player but he might be the most important, at least in an attacking sense. When he isn’t in good form, we look patchy at best in attack.— Ste Hoare (@stehoare) November 4, 2018
Aldridge believes intervention is required in order to reverse Firmino's fortunes, believing that communication should be coming from Liverpool's backline, and from Van Dijk specifically. He did, however, state that Firmino remains an integral member of Liverpool's team, as he is fundamental to Jurgen Klopp's style of play.
“They should be shouting at him. If I were Virgil van Dijk I'd be telling him to get up the park and not [be] cluttering things up for the midfield players. But that's frustration from the lad, because it's not happening for him up there he wants to come back and get hold of the ball."
"Firmino wants to get touches but he shouldn't want to back there - he's a forward - and needs to be dragging the opposition centre-half away."
“He doesn't even look like scoring right now but he's pivotal to Liverpool with his movement and little deft touches in and around the 18-yard box.”
Liverpool have started the season strongly despite Firmino's poor form, trailing Manchester City by just two points in the Premier League, remaining unbeaten in their opening twelve games.