Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino is said to have notified the club of his contract decision today, with the Brazilian’s contract set to expire at the end of the season
While it may be a tough goodbye, Liverpool letting Roberto FIrmino leave Anfield at the end of his contract would be the correct decision.
Firmino has informed Liverpool that he will leave at the end of the season, according to Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg, following eight seasons with the Reds.
While it may come as a surprise to some, the indications have been there for some time. After all, how often does a player sign an agreement that allows him to leave for free?
Firmino had yet to sign a new contract in the final four months of his term, and his agency had stated around a month earlier that his future would be decided by the end of February.\
His injury record over the last couple of seasons (37 matches missed since the start of last season, according to Transfermarkt) means that it is also the appropriate thing for Liverpool to move on without him, allowing the next generation under Klopp to come through.
Furthermore, in the form of Cody Gakpo, who joined Liverpool from PSV in January, Liverpool may have have a substitute for Firmino.
Gakpo has shown characteristics of being able to achieve what Firmino did at his best so far since arriving at Anfield, even though there is still plenty to develop in his game.
In fact, Gakpo has looked more like peak Firmino lately than Firmino has, with the leaving number nine adjusting his game as his physical levels have decreased.
While Gakpo appears to be preparing for the false nine role, keeping a six-man attacking unit available for Klopp next season should be a priority.
Yet, while losing Firmino is a difficult emotional decision, it is the correct one. And Liverpool has already made preparations.