Roberto Firmino may be without a Premier League goal at Anfield this season, leading John Aldridge to brand his form a “mystery”, but Liverpool legend John Barnes sees no cause for concern.
The Brazil international last found the target on home soil back on April 17, 2019 in a Champions League clash with Porto.
He has continued to deliver for club and country since then, but all of his efforts this term have come away from Merseyside.
Firmino has still had an important role to play for the Reds, with a pair of match-winners helping to land Liverpool an historic Club World Cup crown.
Vital goals have also been recorded domestically, such as the solitary strike required to down Tottenham last time out.
With the 28-year-old still doing the business, and with his value to Jurgen Klopp remaining without question, Barnes does not share the concerns of fellow former Reds star Aldridge.
He told The Mirror: “The top six scorers in the Premier League are not from Liverpool but we’re 16 points clear.
“And long may it continue him not scoring any goals at home because Liverpool are [at this rate] going to win the league and not lose matches, and he’s a big important factor to the fact that [Sadio] Mane and [Mohamed] Salah score goals.
“He’s a real team player. He’s the most important player Liverpool have, him and [Virgil] van Dijk, from an attacking perspective and also working hard defensively.
“Mane and Salah are fantastic players who score goals but I think without Firmino they wouldn't score half the goals they score.”
Firmino has retained the backing of his manager and those around him this season, despite going nine games without troubling the scorers at one stage.
Barnes believes he will remain a vital cog in a Premier League title-chasing machine, regardless of when his duck is broken for the season at Anfield.
The Reds legend added: “I don’t think he lacks confidence, it’s just one of those things where he’s been scoring goals away from home.
“He’s an important part of a consistent team, who’s winning every week and playing fantastic football, and Jurgen Klopp and his team-mates know how important he is, so I don’t see that as an issue.”
While not netting in front of his own supporters in 2019-20, Firmino has found the target nine times in all competitions and has helped Liverpool to open up a 14-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.
He will get another opportunity to end his drought at Anfield on Sunday when Klopp’s side play host to arch-rivals Manchester United.