Roberto Firmino will not be the last player to commit long-term future to Liverpool – Jurgen Klopp

Jürgen Klopp does not expect Roberto Firmino to be the last of Liverpool’s Champions League semi-finalists to commit his future to the club.

Firmino agreed to a new “long-term” contract on Sunday having enjoyed the best campaign of his career to date this year, scoring 27 goals and setting up 16 more in all competitions.

The Brazilian has become renowned for his tireless work ethic on the pitch and has provided the perfect foil to the free-scoring Mohamed Salah.

Liverpool have struggled to keep hold of their very best players in the past few years, most recently losing Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in a £142m move.

Klopp, however, believes that Firmino’s renewal is proof that the Anfield club are not destined to be a ‘stepping stone’ and can instead become a final destination.

“This is one very important step. Absolutely,” Klopp said of Firmino’s new contract. “But even Roberto cannot play alone. We need to carry on in this way.

 “In the moment every player knows about our plans. He’s the first [to commit] but for sure he won’t be the last.”

Klopp added: “I heard what [Firmino] said about it being an easy decision for him and I can really imagine that it was. He knows and appreciates absolutely this club.”

Firmino’s form this year has seen him become rated as one of European football’s leading No 9s. It is a change for a player whose contributions are often easily missed, but there is arguably no finer practitioner of the ‘false nine’ role in the game today.

“The other boys really respect him for all the work he’s doing,” Klopp said. “This constant discussion about whether he’s under-valued or whatever in public, this never happened for one second either in the club or in the team.

“He feels completely comfortable and is planning for the long-term here. That’s becoming rare because if you are not Barcelona or not Real Madrid then there’s usually another club somewhere you can go to.

“He’s a footballer, from his head to his toes. He enjoys playing football and he’s not bothered about hard work which is another important thing.

“Because Millie [James Milner] didn’t play the last game [Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Stoke City] from the start, Roberto had the highest distance covered. For an offensive player that is pretty rare in world football.

“I often think that because he doesn’t give himself a rest I have to do it from time to time. That’s all good and how football should be. You play it because you have the opportunity to make your mates better and they help you to become the best player you can be. It’s as simple as that.

“I am happy to have Roberto around – he’s just a good boy in the dressing room. It’s perfect news.”