Darren Bent and Ally McCoist weighed in on the debate surrounding Roberto Firmino and his place in the Liverpool side.
Jamie Carragher co-hosted Drive on talkSPORT last week and said the forward should be dropped for a few games to regain his form and confidence.
Roberto Firmino has been struggling for goals with LiverpoolGetty Images – Getty
The Reds legend believes Jurgen Klopp’s best front three right now is Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane alongside summer signing Diogo Jota.
Bent, a member of the Premier League 100 club, and McCoist, who scored 424 career goals, know a thing or two about scoring.
The pair talked about Firmino’s role in the team following Jota’s good run of recent form.
McCoist said: “It’s interesting listening to Jamie Carragher as it’s clearly a defender talking, because if you’re the centre-forward you don’t want to be left out.
“It’s the last thing you want to happen. I take Jamie’s point: in some cases it might be good for the player and the team, but if you are that centre-forward you don’t want to be left out.”
Bent added: “In Liverpool’s case with Firmino, because they’ve won everything the emphasis is not as bad. They won the Premier League and Champions League; he’s maybe not scoring as consistently but they are still picking up the big trophies.
“On the flip side, if your team is not doing so well and you’re not scoring, that’s when people will maybe criticise you a bit more.
“Firmino is always, ‘I’ve been doing the job for my team, holding the ball up well as the glue that’s holding Salah and Mane together’.
“Jota’s now come in and put pressure on, and people may have opened their eyes a little bit and thought, ‘hold on here, it shouldn’t just be Mane or Salah getting the goals’, because Jota came in and started smashing them as well.”
Diogo Jota has already scored seven goals for Liverpool this seasonGetty Images – Getty
Jota scored six goals in a run of four games before the international break, including a hat-trick against Atalanta in the Champions League.
McCoist continued: “Diogo Jota certainly does deserve his place in the team, particularly after the hat-trick in Italy. He clearly had to start and they started the four of them [against Man City] .
“It was an excellent point you made, Darren. I think it’s far better to be a striker going through a barren spell in a team that continues to win and continues to score than the other way around.
“The emphasis will be on you more if you are that special-edge goalscorer and your team aren’t winning games.
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Bent finished: “We know how good Firmino is; the touch and the creativity is fantastic. In that Liverpool team, he’s not going to play on the left or the right because you’ve got Salah and Mane, who is the best out of the three.
“Firmino is either dropping back into midfield or he’s not going to play.
“When the team is as successful as it has been – winning the Champions League and Premier League – the onus isn’t on him too much, but now there’s genuine competition.”