Roberto Firmino is having a terrific season. 20 goals and 10 assists in all competitions (13 and 7 in the league), all concerns about his production have largely gone out the window. Bobby is currently at a clip below 1 goal or assist per 90min. in all competitions. Which compares favorably to a more traditional 9 like Harry Kane (sitting at 1.03 goals or assists per 90min.). And for his troubles, Roberto Firmino has been rewarded with a chance to represent Brazil as part of the Seleção making the trip Moscow and Berlin during the international break.
Reds fans know all-too-well what to expect from Bobby: innate movement, impeccable touch, almost-clairvoyant vision. His ability to read the game and create space for others is a skill that many have touted but, as it is not easily quantifiable or immediately obvious, always seemed a justification for goal scoring numbers that don’t place his name in any Golden Boot races. However, it’s clear that if this Liverpool squad’s attack seeks to take advantage of the chaotic orbits of Mo Salah and Sadio Mané, then the gravitational anchor is Bobby Firmino.
Bobby hasn’t always been surrounded by the type of sublime attackers that Mané and Salah - especially - are: as fleet of foot and mind, providing a style of attack that is so effervescent that it could trick one into thinking it is all improvisational were it not for the clear understanding and deliberate movements of all three parts. Now, though, with these weapons, Bobby is showing the world the type of talent some thought he might be when he first transferred from Hoffenheim in the Summer of 2015.
Securing a coveted space on the Seleção is one more notch on the list of accomplishments to Firmino’s best season-to-date. Here’s hoping he can stay healthy during the break, close out a successful campaign with, perhaps, a special run in the Champions League, and book his ticket to Russia this summer.