There was a great deal of excitement when Roberto Firmino signed for Liverpool this summer, especially in light of losing Raheem Sterling. His talent and work rate are undeniable, and the £29 million price tag seemed reasonable (insofar as that much money for anything can seem reasonable).
And then a curious thing happened: the season started. Former manager Brendan Rodgers seemed apprehensive about how or when to utilize the attacking midfielder, and then he went down with an injury sustained to Carlisle United. Some fans started to grumble that the Brazilian was too expensive, not ready for the Premier League, and bemoaned the fact that he hadn't scored eleven billionty goals, nor solved world hunger.
Well, this weekend's performance was sure to momentarily silence a few critics, as the crafty Brazilian had a hand (or foot) in three of Liverpool's four goals. In an interview with The Echo, defender Dejan Lovren tells fans to expect even better displays from Firmino in the future:
"Roberto is growing," Lovren said
explaining the dangers of a Zoltar Machine. "We need to give him time as he's settling into a new country. But he has great talent. We see it every day in training and now we're seeing it in the matches."
Lovren was undoubtedly thankful not to be on the receiving end of Firmino's relentless pressing, incisive runs, and excellent build-up play.
"He caused City a lot of problem," Lovren continued, "he's an unbelievable player. He has so much skill. Roberto scored one and could even have got a hat-trick. He creates and he scores. He has so much potential and I know he's going to get better and better for us."
Saturday was as good of a time as any for Firmino to prove his worth in Red, hopefully the first of many such performances.