Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admits he was ‘SURPRISED’ by Roberto Firmino’s decision to leave at the end of the season… but insists he wants to ‘bring his wonderful story to a positive end’ at Anfield as he chases a top four finish
- Roberto Firmino told Jurgen Klopp about his plans to leave Liverpool last week
- The Brazilian netted the Reds’ final goal in their 7-0 thrashing against Man United
- Firmino has been integral to Klopp’s success during his eight-year stint at Anfield
Jurgen Klopp was surprised by Roberto Firmino’s decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season, the Reds head coach revealed on Friday.
Firmino, who has lifted the Premier League, Champions League, Club World Cup, FA Cup and League Cup during a glorious eight-year stint at Anfield, called time on his Liverpool career last week in search of a fresh challenge elsewhere.
After confirming his plan to exit the club, the Brazilian treated Reds fans to a seventh goal against bitter rivals Manchester United last weekend, as Klopp’s side crushed the in-form Carabao Cup winners 7-0 at Anfield.
Firmino, having given so much to the club over the years, received a specular reception as he wheeled away in celebration, proving just how highly he is regarded amongst fans despite falling down the pecking order at Liverpool in recent seasons.
Klopp confirmed that the forward approached him last week to deliver the news and admitted his decision came as a bit of a shock.
Jurgen Klopp was surprised by Roberto Firmino’s decision to leave Liverpool in the summer
Firmino has been integral to Klopp’s success at Liverpool during his eight-year stint at Anfield
‘Surprised? Yes a little bit,’ Klopp confessed during Friday’s press conference ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Bournemouth on Saturday.
‘I was not “hit” by surprise but it could have gone two ways. And (he’s chosen) this one. I respect that a lot and it’s completely normal in this long relationship that we have and that Bobby has with the club and the players.’
Thanks to their proactivity in the transfer market this season, Liverpool will still have plenty of attacking options after Firmino’s departure, with summer acquisition Darwin Nunez and January signing Cody Gakpo joining forwards Mohamed Salah, Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota in Klopp’s talented forward line.
Although Gakpo, Nunez and Salah all bagged braces against the Red Devils last weekend, Klopp admitted the Brazilian’s strike felt particularly ‘special’.
His focus now is to close out Firmino’s Liverpool career in a positive manner, as the Reds hunt down fourth place in the hope of qualifying for the Champions League once again next season.
The Brazilian forward received an incredible reception from Reds fans after netting Liverpool’s seventh goal against rivals Manchester United – who were thumped 7-0 at Anfield last weekend
Klopp’s side head to Bournemouth on Saturday and could temporarily take fourth place away from Tottenham with a win ahead of Spurs’ clash versus Nottingham Forest later that afternoon
‘I loved the reception he got against United. It was pretty special,’ Klopp added.
‘He told me (about wanting to leave) and now I want to bring this wonderful story to a positive end, so he’s completely committed still as you can imagine. And that’s all we need to know.
‘There’s no time for a goodbye in this moment. We’ll have enough time for that later in the season. Whenever he comes back, the song will remain for a long, long time.
‘I think he’s one of these players where, even if he comes back with an opposing team, people would be really happy to see him.’