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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Jurgen Klopp: Roberto Firmino 'won't be the last' to commit future to Liverpool after signing five-year contract

Brazilian forward signed a new deal on Sunday and Klopp is expecting more players to follow suit

Roberto Firmino, right, has signed a new five-year contract with Liverpool. Nigel Roddis / EPA
Roberto Firmino, right, has signed a new five-year contract with Liverpool. Nigel Roddisย / EPA

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said Roberto Firmino will be just the first of many players set to commit their futures to the club.

Brazilian forward Firmino agreed a new five-year contract with Liverpool on Sunday and it is expected the likes of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah will follow suit as Klopp looks to tie down his key players.

"This is one very important step, absolutely," Klopp said. "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."

Firmino has scored 27 goals this season, but it is his all-round game which has helped the team flourish.

It has taken the Premier League a while to catch up to the crucial job he does, but Klopp said it was never in doubt within the walls of their Melwood training ground.

"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," added Klopp ahead of Liverpool's Uefa Champions League semi-final second leg against Roma.

"He knows and appreciates absolutely this club. The other boys really respect him for all the work he's doing. 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. It's really good news for us. He's absolutely a big factor in our future."

Firmino plays in a seemingly carefree way with a smile on his face but rarely fails to turn up in the big games and Klopp appreciates that.

"He's a footballer, from his head to his toes," said the German. "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 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."