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Reds Column I

Roberto Firmino: The Unappreciated Player

Roberto Firmino’s contributions for Liverpool Fc clearly can’t be understated.

Still, there are a few people who don’t realise the importance of Firmino and what he actually brings to the side.

Comparing Firmino’s modest number of goals scored with the prolific Luis Suárez or even fellow teammate Mohamed Salah, does not quite paint the full picture.

In the past, Christian Benteke was deemed unsuited to play in Jürgen Klopp’s system.

It became obvious that Klopp was not in need of a classic Number 10 or a Number 9 player who can be a prolific goals scorer (like Luis Suárez, Fernando Torres and the legendary Ian Rush)).

Instead, Klopp needed a player who can:

  • Be the spearhead of his Reds attack and
  • Bring other attackers into play by
  • Draw out the opposition’s defenders

What Klopp saw in Firmino was an influential player who can be the leader of Liverpool Fc (The Reds) Attack and has:

  • Positional sense,
  • Link up teammates and
  • Build up the counter attack

Yet, the humble Brazilian began his career playing mainly as a second striker or an attacking midfielder.

This helped him to hone his ability to read the game better.

After joining the Reds from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Firmino did not perform consistently well under Brendan Rodgers.

But, after Klopp became the Reds Manager, the German knew that the Brazilian was an underutilised gem.

Under Klopp’s (“heavy metal football”/ gegenpressing) system, Firmino found his groove and first, became a vital component of Klopp’s attacking quartet (with Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah).

After Coutinho departed the Reds for FC Barcelona in January 2018; Firmino then formed a deadly prolific attacking triumvirate with Mané and Salah.

This brilliant attacking alliance were greatly instrumental in helping the Reds win: the Champions League Title 2018-19, the UEFA Super Cup 2019, FIFA Club World Cup 2019 Title and the coveted Premier League 2019-20 Title.

The telepathic understanding of Firmino between Mané and Salah is just simply astonishing.

What’s even more impressive is the defensive aspect that the Brazilian offers. When the Reds attackers presses further up the field, this exposes the defence and leaves gaps which the opposition can capitalize.

But the industrious Brazilian does his best to cover back for the defence to provide further solidity against opposition’s counter attacks.

 

Verdict: Those who clearly don’t understand the role and value of Firmino in the side will criticise Firmino’s lack of goals.

It’s hard to see Firmino leaving the Reds, given his closeness and adoration for the club. But, nothing lasts forever.

Whatever happens in the future, Firmino will be regarded as a Reds Legend, despite being the Unappreciated Player that he is currently.

 

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