Jordan Henderson pays tribute to the outgoing Roberto Firmino ahead of his final Anfield appearance as a Liverpool player this weekend.
He has paid tribute to Roberto Firmino as the striker prepares to close the curtain on eight decorated years as a Liverpool player this month.
On Saturday afternoon, the Reds host Aston Villa in their final home game of the season. An injured Firmino is still hoping to play in what would be his final home game of a career that has included 360 games for the Reds.
The No.9 in spite of missing the previous six games due to a muscle issue, is anticipated to resume full training this week in time for the final game at Anfield against Unai Emery’s Villa.
For a good portion of Monday night’s 3-0 victory over Leicester City at the King Power, Firmino’s name was enthusiastically chanted. At the conclusion of the game, the former Hoffenheim forward crossed the field with his teammates to applaud the opposition’s supporters.
“It will be difficult to see Firmino leave,” admits Reds captain Henderson, who is one of the few members of the current team to have played before the Brazilian’s arrival in 2015.
Henderson described Bobby as an amazing man and a vital member of the team. “Along with the other lads who are leaving, he will undoubtedly be missed. Therefore, it will be difficult to see them go, but we still have business to take care of over the next few weeks. After the final two games, we can say our goodbyes.
“The game is always the only thing that gets our attention. To defeat Villa, we will exert every effort, and then whatever transpires after that. But getting the three points on Saturday is more crucial than anything else.”
Curtis Jones scored twice in the first half at Leicester before Trent Alexander-Arnold’s incredible goal secured Liverpool’s seventh straight Premier League victory, cutting the distance to fourth-place Manchester United to just one point.
The Reds have gone nine games without a loss since losing 4-1 to Manchester City at the beginning of April, and Henderson believes that regardless of whether or not it results in Champions League football, the current run is critical to helping the team start next season off on the right foot.
“I think [this run] shows that we’re still a very good team and yes, we’ve had our problems throughout the season for different reasons,” the Liverpool captain continued.
“But to be fair, I believe we’ve demonstrated over a number of weeks that we are still a strong team that is capable of competing at a high level and consistently winning games. Hopefully, we can continue doing that into the upcoming season based on the last two games.
“That will be the strategy (for a strong start to the upcoming season). We must all be prepared because there will be many boys leaving and a few boys arriving. Although we still have two games left in our important preseason, that is the current focus for us.
“I think there’s still a lot that will have to happen for us to try and get in there, so we just have to focus on our own job, which is to win the next two games. Then, once the season has ended, we will assess our position.
“Overall, I thought it was a good performance. We’re very pleased because there was a clean sheet, several excellent goals, and excellent play all around.”