Speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football show, Neville claimed that Roberto Firmino is every bit as important to Liverpool’s attacking play as his Egyptian compatriot, and would be a desirable signing for any club in the world.
“When I watch Liverpool, [Roberto Firmino] is the catalyst for everything they do,” Neville said, as quoted by the Mirror.
“I think if you were Guardiola, you would want him as your striker. If you were Mourinho – you’d want him. If you were Real Madrid, Barcelona – you’d want him.”
Salah leads the Premier League scoring charts in the race for the golden boot with 31 goals, but he is just one third of a formidable attacking trio which also includes Firmino and Sadio Mane.
Firmino has scored 15 goals in the Premier League and 27 in all competitions, but even when he is not scoring he is usually at the heart of Liverpool’s best moves, with 16 assists to his name as well.
The Brazilian’s tirelessness is also a defensive asset, with Firmino leading from the front on Jurgen Klopp’s gegenpressing strategy. His performances have earned him a new contract at Anfield, which will last until 2023 and is worth £9m a year.
Firmino scored twice last week as Liverpool romped to a 5-2 win over Roma that put them within touching distance of the Champions League final.
The second leg is in Rome on Wednesday, when Liverpool’s deadly front three will be hoping to put the tie to bed before Roma can make it a nervous night.