Place chart

Firmino talks about fighting to keep his place in Liverpool’s starting XI

Liverpool’s vaunted attacking trio occupy positions 1, 2 and 3 in the Premier League goalscoring charts.

However, these are not the three forwards Reds fans have been used to seeing in recent years, with second-year striker Diogo Jota and his 12 league goals joining Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane in the race for the title. Golden Boot (good luck catching Salah and his 19 goals).

Roberto Firmino has seemed the odd man out at times this season, with Jota playing almost twice as many minutes as the Brazilian so far in the campaign, often in Firmino’s preferred centre-forward position.

A once irreplaceable cog in Jürgen Klopp’s trophy-laden squads, the 30-year-old sees more competition for his place in the starting XI than at any other point in his career at Anfield.

“We have so many great players who have shown they belong in the starting XI,” Firmino admitted in recent quotes for Liverpool’s official matchday programme.

“It’s healthy competition and the manager decides the starting XI. I respect his decision.

“I always want to contribute to the team by playing first and I will fight for my place by training hard and giving my best.”

One of the first Klopp-era players to win a song from the Kop, Firmino has always brought a unique skill set to the false role of nine, with the unbridled flair and glee with which he plays the game, which never are matched only by his tireless work ethic as a pure embodiment of Klopp’s pressing philosophy.

“I have to keep doing what I’ve been doing in recent games – helping with scoring in particular, tactically and with goals as well.”

“I demand a lot of myself,” he says. “I always want to contribute with goals and assists, but three points are the most important thing.

“I think about the team first, then the individual things.

Apologies, recalling the rabbit hole in the “Firmino Skills” search results shouldn’t be experienced alone.

“The group comes first.”

With just over a year remaining on his current deal, there won’t be a single Liverpool fan who won’t support Firmino in rediscovering the magic that endeared him to a generation of supporters.