It will be an emotional afternoon on Sunday when Liverpool take on Southampton at St Mary’s in their final game of the season.
Liverpool will bid farewell to five players, with Roberto Firmino, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner all leaving the club at the end of their contracts, as well as Arthur Melo – who will return to Juventus after a disappointing loan spell at Anfield.
While Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will be sad to see all five leave, it is perhaps the departure of Roberto Firmino that will hit him the hardest.
Klopp has already admitted he was surprised by Firmino’s decision, with the Brazilian himself calling time on his eight-year spell on Merseyside.
There had been speculation that Liverpool would offer Firmino a short-term contract extension before Klopp confirmed midway through the season that the striker had decided to move on and seek a new challenge elsewhere.
Barcelona looks the most likely destination for the Brazilian, while he has also been linked with clubs in Italy – including Napoli.
Fabinho reveals Liverpool shock at Firmino exit
Firmino’s international and club teammate Fabinho has now revealed that Liverpool’s squad were stunned by the striker’s decision to leave, expecting him to pen a new deal with the club instead.
“This season, we were always asking him ‘Bobby, when are you signing your new contract?’,” Fabinho toldSky Sports News.
“[We told him] ‘come on, we want you to sign, you have to stay here with us’. We didn’t really expect him to go.
“Bobby is 31 years old, so he has a lot to do, he can still play his best football at that age, he’s young.
“So yes, we didn’t really expect this decision to be made, but he has to go.”
Despite his limited role this season, Firmino has still managed 10 goals and five assists for Liverpool.
But the 31-year-old has struggled with injuries during the campaign and has decided now is the right time to leave the club.
“Sometimes we saw that he was not happy because of the injuries as well,” added Fabinho.
“He’s somebody that really didn’t get injured, but this season he struggled a little bit with injuries.
“But now, we already know he will not stay, it was a pretty emotional week for all of us. The only thing is that I wish the very best for him and his family.”