Klopp 'bit surprised' by Firmino's choice to leave

Roberto Firmino of Liverpool during a training session at AXA Training Centre on March 09, 2023 in Kirkby, England.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says he was “surprised” by Roberto Firmino’s decision to leave Anfield at the end of the season.

The Brazil forward will end an eight-year stay at Anfield when his contract expires in June.

Firmino, 31, had been in talks over a new contract but has chosen to leave.

“Surprised? Yes, a little bit – it could go two ways and it went one. And I respect that a lot,” Klopp said on Friday.

“But it’s completely normal in this kind of long relationship that we have and Bobby has with the club.”

Firmino scored seven goals in 13 Premier League games prior to the break for the World Cup but suffered a calf injury that kept him out for two months following the domestic restart.

He returned in February’s derby win over Everton but has been limited to five substitute appearances with January signing Cody Gakpo preferred up front alongside Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah.

However, he came off the bench to score Liverpool’s final goal – and his 108th in 354 Reds appearances – in the 7-0 thrashing of Manchester United on Sunday.

“I loved the reception he got when he came on against United,” said Klopp, who added that the striker had told him he now wanted “to bring this wonderful story to a positive end”.

Liverpool have won the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, EFL Cup and Club World Cup during Firmino’s time at Anfield, and he can expect an emotional send-off in Liverpool’s final home game of the season against Aston Villa on 20 May.

“There’s no time for a goodbye or whatever in this moment, there’s enough time for that later in the season,” Klopp added.

“Whenever he will come back, everybody knows that the song [Reds fans’ Bobby Firmino chant] will still be for a long, long time in everybody’s ears.

“I think he’s one of these players that even when he would come with an opposition team, people would be really happy to see him.”

Post a Comment

Please 🙏 engage and share this content

Previous Post Next Post