Roberto Firmino planning to stay long-term at Liverpool - Jurgen Klopp
ROME, Italy -- Jurgen Klopp says Roberto Firmino is not "for one second" underrated within Liverpool as he revealed that the Brazilian is planning his "long-term" future on Merseyside after signing a new contract.
Firmino put pen to paper on a new five-year deal at Anfield on Sunday and will record his best goalscoring return as a professional this season, having scored 27 times so far during 2017-18.
His Brazil teammate Philippe Coutinho signed a five-year contract at Liverpool in January 2017 but left for Barcelona a year later. However, Klopp insists Firmino's commitment is different as he feels the 26-year-old does not view Liverpool as a stepping stone in his career.
"It's unbelievably important news for us," Klopp told reporters. "Really cool. I heard what he said about it being an easy decision for him and I can really imagine that it was. He knows and absolutely appreciates this club.
"The other boys really respect him for all the work he's doing. This constant discussion about whether he's undervalued 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.
"It's really good news for us. He's absolutely a big factor in our future. This is one very important step -- absolutely. 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 been part of a prolific Liverpool frontline, alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, that has scored 88 goals in all competitions this season.
In addition to his 27 goals this season, Firmino has laid on 16 assists for his Liverpool teammates in the process.
"He's a footballer, from his head to his toes," Klopp said of his tireless No. 9. "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 [Stoke City game on Saturday] 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."
Firmino needs six more league goals to overtake Coutinho and become the highest-scoring Brazilian in Premier League history.
Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.