So Liverpool sign Roberto Firmino! Who is he? And why did LFC sign him? It’s no secret that the Liverpool football club needs to find some new firepower if they are going to contend in the 2015 – 2016 Premier League. Last season was a huge step down from the team’s near-championship run in 2014 – 2015, with the Reds struggling to compensate for the departure of offensive wizard, Luis Suarez. They still came in sixth place and scored a qualification for the 2015 – 2016 Europa League, but the last match of the season—a demoralizing 1-6 loss against Stoke City—showed just how much things needed to change at Anfield.
The good news is Brendan Rodgers is off to a good start in fleshing out his squad for the 2015 – 2016 campaign. Summer transfer signings have so far included Manchester City midfielder James Milner, Burnley forward Danny Ings, and now, Hoffenheim attacking midfielder Roberto Firmino.
Roberto Firmino: A Quick Profile
Will Firmino be a good fit in the Liverpool home jersey 2015 – 2016? Based on the statistics from his time at Hoffenheim, yes.
The Brazilian-born Firmino comes to Anfield after four and a half seasons playing with Hoffenheim. In those four and a half years, he made 153 overall appearances and netted 49 goals. He was a regular component of the Bundesliga club, appearing in 33 of the soccer team’s 34 league appearances for each of the past three seasons.
Firmino has also reliably been Hoffenheim’s top scorer for the past few seasons, peaking in 2013 – 2014 with 16 goals in league and 22 overall. That season, he tied as the fourth most prolific scorer in the entire Bundesliga, behind Robert Lewandowski, Mario Mandzukic, and Josip Drmic, and on the same level as Adrian Ramos and Marco Reus.
This past season, Roberto declined a bit in terms of goals, but was still an integral component to Hoffenheim’s offense. His tally of seven goals in league was coupled with a count of 10 assists, more than anyone in the Bundesliga except for Kevin De Bruyne (21), Zlatco Junuzovic (12), and Thomas Muller (also 10). In the 2013 – 2014 season, Firmino had finished second in the football league in terms of assists, with 12.
A Good Fit for Liverpool?
Roberto Firmino’s statistics really do speak for themselves, and there is little doubt that he will be a strong asset for Liverpool during the forthcoming 2015 – 2016 campaign. While he wasn’t as strong in 2014 – 2015 as he was the year before, he is still young (23), which means that his peak years are very likely still ahead of him. Considering his new five-year contract with Liverpool, those peak years can be counted on to occur at Anfield.
Actually, Firmino might be exactly the kind of player that the Reds need right now. Longtime captain Steven Gerrard headed off to join the L.A. Galaxy at the end of the 2014 – 2015 season, leaving Liverpool without both a leader and an offensive tour-de-force. Gerrard was always a dynamic midfielder – someone who could create scoring chances for other players while also scoring goals. The fact that Gerrard owns Liverpool’s records for both goals and assists speaks volume about the player he was. Even in his last season with the Reds, Gerrard was still sharp, leading the football club with nine goals in league games and 13 overall.
Looking at Firmino’s last two seasons, it’s clear what Brendan Rodgers must be thinking with this transfer—as well as why the manager was willing to pay £29 million to bring Roberto to England. While James Milner was at least somewhat flagged as a replacement for Gerrard following his transfer announcement, the comparison between Firmino and the ex-Liverpool captain is actually a lot closer. Each can be counted on for both assists and goals, and it won’t be surprising if Firmino becomes a lynchpin of the Reds starting lineup, in Gerrard’s stead.
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