Roberto Firmino was handed the captain’s armband for Liverpool’s game against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday as a result of being the longest serving player in the starting line-up.
The Brazilian has been at Anfield since 2015 and, in that time, his performances have been integral to Liverpool’s success under Jurgen Klopp.
However, like several Liverpool players this season, Firmino has not been at his best for large parts of the campaign, leading some to suggest the time may have come for him to be replaced.
Last month, former Liverpool striker John Aldridge called Firmino “a problem”, claiming the Brazilian looks like he has “lost his mojo completely”.
Jamie Carragher has spoken about the need for Liverpool to freshen up their attacking options this summer, stating that he is “worried for Firmino” and that he could be the player phased out.
Firmino has scored eight goals in 45 appearances in all competitions so far this season and, despite his goal return coming in for criticism, Klopp has kept faith in the 29-year-old.
Speaking earlier this season, he outlined Firmino’s importance to the team, explaining: “Scoring was always important for Bobby. But Bobby is a complete footballer.
“A football team is like an orchestra, you have different people for different instruments. And some of them are louder than others, but they are all important for the rhythm. Bobby plays like 12 instruments in our orchestra!
“He’s very important for our rhythm. We can play well without him as well, but I certainly want him on the pitch and if you look at the numbers, I like it a lot having him on the pitch. Really awesome.”
In the 4-2 win over Manchester United on Thursday, Firmino bagged a brace and, with Diogo Jota now ruled out for the remainder of the season, he has an opportunity to prove his worth in the remaining games ahead of an important summer transfer window.