Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool made a good decision signing Roberto Firmino, describing the Brazil international as the best player in the Bundesliga for a brief period of time during his spell with Hoffenheim.
The Reds paid £29 million to sign Firmino from the German club in the summer, but the 24-year-old has struggled during his first few months at Anfield.
Klopp, though, has the utmost confidence that Firmino will prove to be a very shrewd signing for Liverpool - and will hand the attacking midfielder another opportunity to impress against Bournemouth in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night.
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"He's a skilled player. I'd say a year ago for a few months for sure he was the best player in the Bundesliga," Klopp was quoted as saying by the London Evening Standard. "From the first day everyone could see he can become a very, very good player... when I heard Liverpool took him, I thought 'good choice'.
"He needed time when he came in but he's strong with the ball, physically strong, fast in a good football way, gets his body between opponent and ball.
"So he is an important player for us and I hope he can play tomorrow."
Firmino's rise to prominence
Firmino netted 22 goals in all competitions during the 2013-14 campaign - 16 of which were scored in the Bundesliga - but failed to scale the same lofty heights during his final season with Hoffenheim.
However, the South American still managed to score 10 goals in all competitions and, crucially, cemented his status as a regular in the Brazilian national team ahead of the Copa America in Chile.
That Firmino scored the winning goal for Brazil against Chile in a pre-Copa America friendly at the Emirates Stadium back in March also helped to boost his profile in England.
Brendan Rodgers and his transfer committee at Anfield had clearly been playing close attention to Brazil’s new forward and made their move in the summer.
Firmino will have another opportunity tonight
Firmino has made nine appearances for the Reds so far but is yet to score his first goal for his new employers.
He will be desperately hoping to make an impact against the Cherries at Anfield this evening.
Liverpool fans: will Roberto Firmino be a hit or a flop at Anfield? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!