Jurgen Klopp has rejected criticism of the selection of Roberto Firmino from Michael Owen and Chris Sutton.
Firmino was chosen once more as the lone striker for Liverpool against Norwich on Saturday, with the Brazilian scoring twice in the 5-4 victory.
Since signing from Hoffenheim in the summer, Firmino has now been used as a false nine in six Premier League games, playing a crucial role in wins over Chelsea and Manchester City, as well as the 3-3 draw against Arsenal, in which he also scored twice.
Former Liverpool striker Owen questioned the selection of Firmino as the lone striker at Carrow Road, telling BT Sport that the Brazilian “has been pushed into the role” having “never played there before”. Chris Sutton added that Firmino played predominantly on the left-wing in the Bundesliga. Both believed that Christian Benteke should have started.
After being told that the selection had been questioned, Klopp said: “There is a wide spectrum of types of strikers. Roberto is a very offensive player, so he is a striker.
“Having the option with Christian, that’s good. Against Norwich, I made this decision.
“Everybody asked me, ‘What about Firmino, we need a real target striker?’ Roberto is a striker. A lot of strikers are 1.60m (5ft 3in). Leo Messi, what is he?
“He got two against Arsenal and he scored two again.
“Firmino can play and score goals and he is for us a good option to play with. He is flexible and at the moment in brilliant shape. He gets in the box and then something happens.”
"Firmino has been pushed into a striker role, never played there before"-Michael Owen. Played there for Brazil and Hoffenheim many times.
— Dëm (@TheJurgenaut) January 23, 2016