Monday 21 May 2018

'Roberto Firmino will be the first of many Liverpool players to commit to the club,' says Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool's Roberto Firmino. Photo: PA
Liverpool's Roberto Firmino. Photo: PA

Chris Bascombe

Jurgen Klopp says Roberto Firmino will be the first of many Liverpool players to commit their future to the club.

Firmino agreed a new five-year deal on Sunday. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane will also be rewarded for their progress in making Liverpool the most prolific front three in the Champions League.

Klopp took his squad to Rome this morning buoyant about Firmino’s deal more than troubled by developments in his backroom team following Zeljko Buvac’s exit.

“I am happy to have Roberto around - he's just a good boy in the dressing room. It's perfect, unbelievably important news for us. Really cool,” said Klopp.

“I heard what he said about it being an easy decision for him and I can really imagine that it was. He knows and absolutely appreciates this club. The other boys really respect him for all the work he's doing.

“This constant discussion about whether he's under-valued or whatever in public, this never happened for one second either in the club or in the team.

“He feels completely comfortable and is planning for the long-term here. That's becoming rare because if you are not Barcelona or not Real Madrid then there's usually another club somewhere you can go. It's really good news for us. He's absolutely a big factor in our future.”

Liverpool have lost many of their star players in recent years, not least Philippe Coutinho in the last transfer window. Retaining Firmino was essential.

“At the moment every player knows about our plans. He's the first [to commit] but for sure he won't be the last,” said Klopp.

“This is one very important step. Absolutely. But even Roberto cannot play alone. We need to carry on in this way. He's a footballer, from his head to his toes. He enjoys playing football and he's not bothered about hard work, which is another important thing.

“Because Millie [James Milner] didn't play the last game from the start, Roberto had the highest distance covered. For an offensive player that is pretty rare in world football.

“I often think that because he doesn't give himself a rest I have to do it from time to time. That's all good and how football should be.

“You play it because you have the opportunity to make your mates better and they help you to become the best player you can be. It's as simple as that.”

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