One statistic has come to light which explains why it’s essential for Liverpool to adequately replace Bobby Firmino in the summer.
The 31-year-old has confirmed that he’ll be departing Anfield at the end of this season after eight years at the club, and he’ll leave behind some big boots to fill.
Although injuries have restricted him to just 11 Premier League starts in the current campaign, he’s still netted eight goals in the division across 1,031 minutes of game-time (Transfermarkt), which makes him one of the most clinical strikers in the country.
Indeed, in a table shown on Sky Sports News (via @footballdaily on Twitter) using data from Opta, Firmino has the fourth-best minutes per goal ratio of any player with at least five goals in the English top flight this term, and the highest of anyone at Liverpool.
The statistic was presented in the wake of Alexander Isak’s double for Newcastle as they defeated Nottingham Forest last night, which leaves him with the second-most goals per minute in the league after Erling Haaland.
Premier League minutes per goal ratio (minimum five goals) this season:
◎ Erling Haaland – 75.6
◉ Alexander Isak – 103.7
◎ Harry Kane – 120.8
◎ Roberto Firmino – 129
◎ Rodrigo – 133
◎ Ivan Toney – 134.4 pic.twitter.com/sbgIvQbIAQ
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) March 18, 2023
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It’s clear from these figures that Firmino will be a very hard man for Liverpool to replace, despite him not starting a Premier League game in just over four months (WhoScored).
He was ruled out of the first few post-World Cup matches due to a calf injury and has had to rely solely on substitute appearances in the top flight ever since (Transfermarkt).
However, in spite of 11 Reds players clocking up more league minutes than him this season, only Mo Salah can better his tally of eight goals (WhoScored). Bobby might not be a regular starter, but he’s made his minutes on the pitch count.
It’s not just the Brazilian’s goals which make him such a revered figure, either. He’s been widely praised for the unselfish and indefatigable manner in which he plays the false nine role, helping Liverpool’s attack no end with his expert link-up play (The Athletic).
Jurgen Klopp may have five other senior attackers to call upon in his current squad, but none have been as clinical as the 31-year-old, and none would offer quite the same repertoire of attributes out of possession.
There’s no disputing that Firmino will be a big miss to the Reds, who simply must replace him with someone who’d at least come close to replicating the impact he’s made in his eight years on Merseyside.
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