Liverpool have been urged to bring in a new centre-forward this summer amid doubts about Roberto Firmino.
Former Premier League striker Darren Bent feels that Firmino has received too much leeway for his shortcomings in front of goal and the ex-England international suggested that the Reds should turn to the transfer market at the end of the season.
Firmino has scored just six goals in all competitions this season but his lacklustre tally is often excused because of his ability to provide a different dynamic to Jurgen Klopp’s side in terms of his all-round play.
Bent, who was once a transfer target for Liverpool, is not convinced that Firmino’s build-up play is enough to justify his return and suggested that the soon-to-be-former Premier League champions should look to bring in a forward who can do what Firmino can, but also find the net.
“I know at one stage his hold up play and the way he brought players into the game, people were making excuses for him about his poor goal return,” Bent said of Firmino on talkSPORT.
“But now, it’s time to bring someone in. He could play as a No. 10, but then you have to take one of the legs out of the midfield in [Jordan] Henderson, [Georginio] Wijnaldum, Fabinho. Where is he going to fit in?
“So now you need to go out and get another centre-forward. Someone who’s got the pedigree, the calibre to score goals and do everything else.
“Maybe it’s time for Firmino to play second fiddle to someone. There were a couple of seasons where he was very good, he won the league, he was brilliant.
“But you can see already now he’s starting to tail off a bit.”
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has previously suggested that Firmino was fortunate that Diogo Jota’s injury in December came when it did as the Portuguese forward immediately proved himself a greater goalscoring threat than Firmino after last summer’s move from Wolves.