Former Liverpool player Don Hutchinson has likened West Ham attacker Michail Antonio to Roberto Firmino in what he offers to his side.

Hutchinson says that Antonio and Firmino both contribute to their respective teams even if they are not scoring every single week.

He says Antonio and Firmino are both able to bring others into the game along with running the channels and pressing high up the pitch to win the ball back.

Speaking on Optus Sport, as transcribed by TBRF, Hutchinson compared the two players. “He does a lot more than score goals.

“He will never be prolific and score 20, but he works hard. Firmino at Liverpool, different player, he won’t hit 20 goals like Antonio – but he’ll do the work for Mane and Salah.

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Hutchinson has likened Antonio to Firmino (pictured)

Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino celebrates their side’s second goal of the game, an own goal scored by Sheffield United’s Kean Bryan (not pictured) during the Premier League match at Bramall Lane, Sheffield. Picture date: Sunday February 28, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Sheff Utd. Photo credit should read: Lee Smith/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

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“It is the same with Antonio, the way he runs the channels, the way he presses the centre-halves – now he’s hitting those numbers, he is a complete centre-forward. But if he isn’t scoring, he still offers something to the team.”

ANFIELD WATCH VERDICT 

Whilst praising Antonio, Hutchinson has given a reminder to Liverpool fans about what Firmino still offers to the team despite his lack of goals this season. Firmino presses high up the pitch and works hard for the team in the final third to close down defenders and occupy space to create openings in other areas of the pitch for Mo Salah and Sadio Mane to exploit.

However, Firmino still needs to improve in front of goal. Since the start of last season, Firmino has underperformed his Expected Goals by an incredible 13.05. For those unfamiliar with the XG metric, this means that Firmino has scored 13 goals fewer than the average player would be expected to score from the chances he has had over the last two Premier League campaigns.

So, the Brazilian does add value to Liverpool’s team in what he offers off the ball and creatively, but he still needs to work on his finishing to become the full package for the club. His lack of goals is a cause for concern and Liverpool could potentially do with bringing in a striker to compete with him to give some extra motivation as he could then face the prospect of losing his place in the starting XI if his finishing does not improve.

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I'm a 22-year-old football writer from Lowestoft. I produce, edit, and publish articles for Anfield Watch full-time.

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