Roberto Firmino’s ability, attitude and application make him indispensable to Liverpool, according to Trent Alexander-Arnold, who has labelled his teammate a ‘very special player’.
The Brazil forward registered his sixth goal in his last eight appearances by netting the Reds’ third in Saturday’s 4-1 victory over West Ham United.
His tally of 22 goals, plus 12 assists, in 38 games so far in 2017-18 means this season already represents Firmino’s most prolific since he arrived at Anfield in the summer of 2015.
However, Alexander-Arnold has explained that the 26-year-old brings so much more to Jürgen Klopp’s team than just productivity in front of goal.
Firmino's 2017-18 Premier League stats
“He's a very special player. I think he's definitely underrated in terms of the recognition that he gets,” the right-back said.
“I think he links the whole team together. He links the front three together, especially.
“He always plays a part. If you watch him closely, his drive and enthusiasm to get back and defend as a No.9 is incredible.
“Most of the time you see him past the halfway line, tracking back and making tackles. Sometimes he overdoes it, but in a good way. I suppose he doesn't have to do it, but he's willing to do it for the team.
“You don't really see that from an all-round No.9. It just shows his hunger to win. I think that's a big part of it.
“He is priceless to us. He scores goals, he creates chances and he gets assists. There's not much more you want from a No.9.
“He wants to win, he's a born winner. I think that's very important if you want to make it in this game. You've got to have that drive to win. He's got a lot of that.”
The other two members of Liverpool’s fearsome front three, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, also scored on Saturday, meaning the trio have now plundered 66 goals between them this season.
Alexander-Arnold continued: “We've got a really good attack and everyone is in fine form. Hopefully there's no stopping of the goals.
“I think the defenders know if they can put that solid foundation down then the attackers will go and do their job every week.
“Everyone is playing their part in the results. The manager isn't putting the same team out every week and it shows that there's such good squad depth at the minute.
“Every week we're fighting for our place and every time we go out onto the pitch we think we can score goals.”