Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen has claimed that Roberto Firmino can step up his game and be more consistent by not giving away the ball "too much". The Brazil international moved to Anfield from Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim last summer and struggled in the initial few months of the 2015/16 season.

However, the 24-year-old had a good start to the calendar year as has scored five goals and registered three assists in 2016. Owen, who played for Liverpool and arch-rivals Manchester United claimed the South American attacker needs to get angry after the former England international gave mixed reviews on Firmino's progress at the Merseyside club.

"I'm split on him. I thought he did great against Manchester City and Chelsea away earlier in the season, but for a player with that much quality I just want to see that kind of performance on a more regular basis," Owen explained, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.

"At the moment it's maybe one good performance in five or six. He gives the ball away too much, and I don't see that real angry streak in his game.

"Listen, if I gave the ball away in a game then for 10 minutes it would be frying my brain. The ball is precious, and I don't see that in Firmino's game at the moment. He gives the ball away and it's almost like 'oh well, that's the norm'.

"He's done well lately. But to be a Liverpool player you have to do it every week. You can have one bad game in five, but at the moment he's more one good game in five. He's got a lot of quality, but we need to see it more regularly," he said.

Jurgen Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers after the latter was shown the exit door by the Reds' board last October. Owen backed the former Borussia Dortmund manager's decision to not spend heavily in the January transfer window.

"Look, Liverpool aren't going to win the league this season, so in that sense there was no need to make signings in January so we could have a big push," the former Liverpool and United striker said.

"Whether we finish 10th or eighth, seventh, whatever, it doesn't really matter. It's about the cup competitions and building for the future. It's about Klopp understanding the club totally, what he's got at his disposal and where he needs to strengthen.

"I'm pleased that he didn't rush in to the market right away. I think he needed the time between his appointment and the end of the season to truly assess what he's got, and then make the required changes," he added.

Liverpool travel to Germany to face Augsburg in the Europa League clash on Thursday. With all English clubs getting involved in the FA Cup later this weekend, Klopp's men will have a break (after their exit from the FA Cup) as they set to prepare for the Capital One Cup final against Manchester City on 28 February.