Former Liverpool star responds to Thierry Henry over Roberto Firmino claim

Rob Jones says Roberto Firmino has improved for Liverpool in recent months

Kieran Beckles

Rob Jones says Roberto Firmino will struggle to emulate Luis Suarez’s impact at Liverpool, but admits the Brazilian has made big improvements in 2016.

The South American scored Liverpool’s second goal in a 2-0 victory over Manchester United in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 clash at Anfield on Thursday.

Firmino scored one goal in his opening 23 games for the Reds following his £29m move last summer, but the 24-year-old has netted eight times and has made three assists in his last 13 outings.

The former Hoffenheim midfielder’s form prompted Arsenal legend Thierry Henry to suggest that Firmino could fill the void left by Luis Suarez.

While Jones is unsure whether Firmino can take over the Uruguayan’s mantle, the former Liverpool defender believes the Brazilian will be even better next season.

“He looked very weak at times. He was knocked off the ball a lot,” Jones told The Sport Review.

“He seems to have quickened up. When he is getting knocked off the ball, it is a foul going his way rather than losing the ball.

“Next year, he will be stronger again. If he is going to be up to Luis Suarez ability, I’m not sure. Luis Suarez was the best in the world.”

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Firmino has scored nine goals and has made eight assists in 32 games in the Premier League and the Europa League in his first season in English football.

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