Roberto Firmino is starting to flourish under new manager Jurgen Klopp as he attempts to kick-start his Liverpool career.
The 24-year-old Brazilian was signed by the Reds from German side Hoffenheim in a deal worth £29 million this summer.
But after arriving on Merseyside late due to the Copa America, Firmino was rarely used by former manager Brendan Rodgers as he attempted to regain fitness and shake off a few injury niggles.
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However, it seems under the new manager the 24-year-old could finally be given a consistent run in the starting XI and a chance to start paying back his transfer fee.
On Wednesday night, Firmino was head and shoulders the best player on the pitch during Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Bournemouth in the Capital One Cup. Playing in the no.10 role, the Brazil international showed brilliant glimpses of skill to give fans a taster of what’s to come for the rest of the season.
Whilst he hasn’t yet completed 90 minutes for the Anfield side, there’s hope this promising performance could propell his career on Merseyside. Just as well, considering the lack of form shown by fellow Brazilian Philippe Coutinho.
The midfield duo are very similar players - both favour the central attacking role just behind the striker. However, Coutinho could find himself shifted into a wider position or even moved back into centre midfield should his countryman continue such form.
One thing rarely associated with attacking Brazilian players is their work-rate, though Firmino is certainly one to dispell this stereotype. In his appearances under Klopp so far, it’s clear he wants to impress by implementing the ‘gegenpressing’ style into his own game.
The former Borussia Dortmund manager appears to share a strong relationship with the player, having watched him in the Bundesliga for many years during his time at the Westfalenstadion.
Firmino's goalscoring exploits are similarly admirable. In the two seasons prior to his move to Merseyside, he scored 32 goals in all competitions for 1899 Hoffenheim - far superior to Coutinho's 13 goals during such time.
With strikers Danny Ings, Daniel Sturridge and Christian Benteke all struggling with injury, the need for midfielders to chip in with goals is imperative to remove the pressure on young Divock Origi - and Firmino can provide just that.
As the third most expensive player in Liverpool’s history, many expected the midfielder to hit the ground running at Anfield, but after shaking off his injuries, it’s time he started repaying his club for the faith shown in signing him.
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