Every Liverpool fan knows that Roberto Firmino has been worth his weight in gold to the Reds since his arrival in 2015.
The Brazilian, who moved to Anfield from Hoffenheim five years ago in a deal worth £29 million, has played a key role in the Merseyside outfit’s recent success.
Part of the most formidable front-three in Europe right now, Firmino has helped Liverpool win the Premier League, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.
However, Firmino’s critics are keen to point out his goalscoring record which, on paper, is not particularly impressive.
In 175 Premier League appearances, the Brazil international has netted 57 goals. An average of around one in three.
In all competitions, Firmino has played 244 matches for the Reds, scoring 78 goals.
Firmino bagged just nine league goals for Liverpool’s title-winning side this season, with his only goal at Anfield coming at the end of the campaign in a 5-3 win over Chelsea.
That ended a run of 1,591 minutes of play and 56 attempted shots without scoring at Liverpool’s home ground. His previous Anfield goal was against Tottenham in March 2019 - 479 days earlier.
But Jurgen Klopp and everyone else associated with Liverpool is acutely aware that Firmino brings so much more to the team than goals.
Some strikers deliver goals and goals only, but Firmino is not one of those forwards.
A video is currently doing the rounds on social media showing various pundits and players hailing the South American, proving just how highly those in football rate him.
Let’s check out some of the quotes…
Gary Neville: “I think any manager in the world would have him as their centre-forward in their team.”
“He’s incredible, Firmino. He’s selfless, brilliant, scores goals, sets things up, you can link off him, he makes all the right runs. He’s an outstanding player.”
Ian Wright: “People keep saying nine-and-a-half. He’s the best, for me, in that position. I absolutely adore him.”
Glenn Hoddle (when asked if there’s a player he would compare Firmino to): “100 per cent. Teddy Sheringham.”
Kaka: "Firmino and [Luis] Suarez are the best strikers in the world right now.”
Jose Mourinho: “Firmino drops back in between the lines and then he gives more space for [Mohamed] Salah and [Sadio] Mane to attack these diagonals. I would see [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang playing on Liverpool’s left side and scoring a lot of goals.”
Watch the clip in full here…
Firmino is unquestionably one of Liverpool’s most important players, if not *the* most important player.
The team doesn’t function nearly as well without him, while the likes of Salah and Mane would struggle to score as many goals if he wasn’t there.
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