Mohamed Salah may have dominated headlines at Liverpool recently with his goalscoring form, but one other player has arguably been just as good: Roberto Firmino.
Thirteen goals and seven assists in the Premier League so far this season is a fantastic return for someone who isn’t technically an out-and-out striker.
When the Brazilian joined Liverpool in 2015 he was billed as an attacking midfielder; it’s now the beginning of 2018 and not even three years later he’s transformed into a complete No.9.
He’s unlike any other striker in the Premier League – heck, maybe even Europe – which is why he’s become so indispensable for Liverpool.
A new contract is even on the horizon, assuming Liverpool’s hierarchy feel the same way as Jurgen Klopp that Firmino deserves a lucrative extension.
“[The new contract] is very important for both sides,” said Klopp. “I think everything we are doing, the way we play, the way we give him the opportunity constantly to play, he deserves that.
“He deserves that because his work rate is outstanding but it helped him a lot to step up. He became a different player here.
“Other teams can say, ‘Hmm, he’s really good,’ but it is not certain they would play the same way and use him as a nine or a ten or they’ll use him out on the wings.
“It is never sure but of course it is important to keep these players who are at a good age and when there is still space for improvement. There is no doubt we want to do that.”
It was Firmino’s magical pass that assisted Sadio Mane’s goal during the 2-0 win over Newcastle United on Saturday, with Salah scoring the opener.
However, Liverpool fans have noticed something pretty special about Firmino during Mane’s goal that just proves how complete he is.
In the video below, it’s the Brazilian who actually wins back possession after dropping deep to help his team defensively. He then passes to Emre Can and moves up to the pitch.
A couple of passes later Firmino has the ball just outside of Newcastle’s 18-yard box, at which point he finishes the move by sliding through Mane to score. Check it out.
FIRMINO RUNNING THE SHOW
As the second video explains: “No other striker would’ve done like Firmino would.” The 26-year-old’s work rate is second to none and it’s about time he was shown more recognition.