Jamie Carragher has heaped praise on Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino (Picture: EPA)Jamie Carragher has hailed Roberto Firmino as Liverpool’s ‘most important player’.
The Brazil forward is enjoying another superb season at Anfield with his 27 goals helping the Reds progress to the Champions League semi-finals.
Firmino recently put pen to paper on a new five-year deal worth £180,000-a-week, but his performances have often been overshadowed by the sensational Mohamed Salah.
In his debut season at Liverpool, the Egyptian has scored over 40 goals, winning the PFA Player of the Year award and leading the Golden Boot race.
Despite Salah’s heroics, Carragher says it is Firmino who is Jurgen Klopp’s most influential player as he sets the tone for the rest of the team.
‘I love Firmino, he’s probably my favourite player,’ Carragher told Goal. ‘What Salah is doing is “wow” but I love watching Firmino play.
Carragher is a huge admirer of Brazil international Firmino (Picture: Getty)‘His touch, the way he links the play, his strength, his working back. And I can’t believe that some people still say we need a centre-forward!
‘I hear pundits on TV saying it and it’s like, “Oh my god!” He’s got 27 goals! And he’s not just a penalty-box striker. He doesn’t take loads of penalties.
‘It’s because of Messi, Ronaldo, Salah now. They’ve changed the way people look at strikers and their numbers. But that’s not normal, what they’re doing!
‘If you’ve got an attacking player getting 25 goals, and doing everything Firmino does besides, then you’ve got a great player.
‘I think he’s arguably Klopp’s most important player, for how we press, what we do. He’s just brilliant.’
Carragher, who made over 700 appearances for Liverpool in almost two decades at the club, also heaped praise on Klopp ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg clash against Roma.
Klopp inspired an impressive 5-2 victory over the Italians in the first leg at Anfield and Carragher insists he is a ‘special manager’.
‘He gets pigeon-holed. He’s seen as a motivator, he whips the crowd up and the players run round like headless chickens for him. It’s a load of nonsense,’ the former England star added.
Jurgen Klopp has been branded a ‘special manager’ by Carragher (Picture: AFP)More: Football
‘You don’t manage at that level, with different clubs, and get the performances he gets, without being a special manager.
‘Of course a big part of it is his character, his enthusiasm. You’d imagine the players love him, and that is rare. You may respect your manager, but I think these players respect him and they love him.’
MORE: Bailly and Lukaku absent from Man United end of season awards ceremony