Jamie Carragher believes that the out-of-form Roberto Firmino should be dropped from the Liverpool side in favour ‘goalscorer’ Diogo Jota.
Firmino has come under increasing pressure following a run of poor performances with the forward having struggled in front of goal, scoring just once in 11 appearances in all competitions so far this season.
The Brazil international has long been viewed as a key figure in Liverpool’s style and system with his pressing ability from the front and linking of the attack, though his performances of late have dropped below expectations with his struggles in front of goal a major concern.
Liverpool moved to strengthen their attacking options during the summer with the signing of Jota from Wolves and the forward has since enjoyed an impressive start to his career on Merseyside, scoring seven goals in just six starts in all competitions.
Carragher believes the 23-year-old’s fine form now deserves recognition with a regular starting role, suggesting the out-of-form Firmino should be taken out of the firing line at present.
Asked for the attack he would choose were he Liverpool manager, Carragher emphatically told talkSPORT: “Mane-Jota-Salah.
“Firmino isn’t in great form now and I don’t think he was in great form last season. Even though Liverpool won the league, certain things got masked.
“Firmino didn’t score a goal at home in the Premier League until the last game against Chelsea.
“Liverpool fans are educated enough that Liverpool’s goalscorers are out wide. But even the pressing stats, I checked them the other day and they weren’t at the numbers they normally are.
“You have ups and downs in your career… sit on the bench. Everyone is looking at him, so just leave him out for me for the next three or four games.”
Carragher believes Firmino could benefit from finding form in a substitute role over the coming weeks, and insists the presence of another ‘goalscorer’ can help relieve some of the pressure on the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
“It’s hard to have a bad game coming on as a sub,” he added.
“You can come on and change the game and build confidence that way. The reason I would play Jota is Liverpool don’t have many goalscorers in the team. You only really have Salah or Mane.
“Virgil van Dijk was a scorer, the midfield three don’t really score, there’s no real Gerrard in that team. If you put Jota in there then it takes the pressure of Mane and Salah.”