‘I thought he was BRILLIANT tonight’: Jamie Carragher heaps praise on Roberto Firmino for his role in Liverpool’s victory over Southampton – but admits he fears the Brazilian will leave the club when his contract expires next summer
- Roberto Firmino made a rare Premier League start against Southampton
- The Brazilian was a key member of a much-changed Liverpool side for the game
- Firmino, 30, is out of contract at Anfield next season and could leave for free
- Jamie Redknapp also praised Firmino for his performance in the 2-1 victory
Jamie Carragher has heaped praise on the role Roberto Firmino plays in the Liverpool team after he helped his side take the Premier League title race to a final day in a 2-1 victory over Southampton – but admitted he expects the Brazilian to leave the club next summer.
Firmino, who is out of contract at Anfield next season, was one of nine changes made by Jurgen Klopp for the Southampton clash and repaid his manager’s faith with a silky display as Liverpool kept their title hopes alive.
The 30-year-old has been consigned to a bit-part role under Klopp this season as the German often opts for a front three of Luis Diaz, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
Roberto Firmino has not played as much as he would have liked under Jurgen Klopp this season
He has still made 33 appearance for the Reds in their bid for an unprecedented quadruple but many of those have come from the substitutes bench.
Carragher, speaking on Sky Sports, described Firmino, signed by Klopp’s predecessor Brendan Rodgers from Bundesliga side Hoffenheim for around £29million in 2015, as a ‘stalwart’ of the Liverpool side.
‘It has been a typical performance, clever touches,’ said Carragher. ‘I wouldn’t say the old Roberto Firmino because very rarely does he drop his standard.
Jamie Carragher was full of praise for Firmino following the victory over Southampton
‘I thought he was brilliant tonight. He wasn’t great when he came on in the cup final against Chelsea but in the first half in particular, he was fantastic.
‘When you think about what he has done for this club…Liverpool weren’t quite sure what they were going to do with him at the start to be honest, what role he would play.
‘What he has done, the miles he has run, the job he does, you see the quality he has got but it is what he brings to this team…it’s fantastic. He is right at the top of that list of players who come in and make a difference.’
Jamie Redknapp said some of Firmino’s touches in the Saints clash were ‘like velvet’
Firmino played a key role in the victory which keeps Liverpool in the Premier League title race
On Firmino’s future, Carragher added: ‘Firmino may see his contract out and I think he may go for free at the end of next season.’
Jamie Redknapp was also full of praise for Firmino following his performance against Southampton. ‘He is a perfect team player, and some of his touches were like velvet,’ he said on Sky Sports.
Victory over the Saints still leaves Liverpool needing to beat Wolves and hope Manchester City drop points against Aston Villa on the final day if they are to snatch the Premier League title from Pep Guardiola’s side.
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