The qualities of Roberto Firmino are beginning to shine through after a start to Liverpool life that was interrupted by injury and inconsistent management. Many Liverpool fans have been ridiculed for their excitement when the signing of Firmino was confirmed, because he played in the obscure Bundesliga where there was hardly any international coverage for fans across the globe to follow one of the league's brightest prospects.
Emre Can, a young talent secured from Germany a year earlier, shared his confidence and belief in the 24-year-old Brazilian international.
He’s a great player. He scored a lot of goals and made a lot in Germany. I know myself that it’s difficult when you pick up an injury after arriving at a new club. It’s the worst time because you’re trying to make a good impression. It happened to me last season when I was on international duty and it took a few months to recover and get in the team. Firmino just needs time. People need to be patient with him then he can progress. It’s not easy to come into the English league, everything is quicker and more physical. You need to learn about that and the referees too. Sometimes they don’t whistle when you expect it. Instead they let the game flow. You might think it’s a foul but everything continues. Personally, I like that. It’s much better than a stop-start game. But players who are new to England need time to adapt to it.
The former Hoffenheim talisman shined in the Capital One Cup victory over Bournemouth, and it may have prompted Jürgen Klopp to use Firmino as a different type of spearhead against Chelsea. He helped Liverpool hold onto the ball and ranked only behind the imperious Mamadou Sakho in terms of pass completion. His intelligence and ability to link with others was essential in helping Liverpool back into the game at Stamford Bridge.
The forward's appreciation for working hard without the ball is another element of his game that is certain to secure him great favour with Klopp, but Firmino also offers a genuine attacking threat. There's only been a single assist so far (Coutinho's equaliser against Chelsea), but Liverpool potentially have a player who can help the club improve in the final third—an area of considerable concern. It's still early in Roberto Firmino's Premier League odyssey, but if he approaches the success he had in Germany, quite a few observers will join Can in hailing his addition to Liverpool's squad.