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In Roberto Firmino, Liverpool Hope to Have Found Their “New Suarez”

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Lucas Leiva says he doesn’t want to heap too much pressure on new signing Roberto Firmino, but he still has hopes the attacker can have a similar impact at the club as Luis Suarez did.

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As one of the club’s more veteran faces, Lucas Leiva has been one of the Liverpool players tasked with talking to the media as Liverpool get settled into their pre-season tour. He’s already had his say on the departure of 20-year-old Raheem Sterling, believing the club won’t feel his loss in the same way they did Luis Suarez’ a year earlier.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, having already touched on outgoings, the midfielder is eager to move on. Raheem Sterling won’t be at the club this year, and whether Liverpool can rebound from a disappointing 2014-15 season will depend not on him but on the players who are still around. It will also depend on a few new signings, with Roberto Firmino likely to be key.

"When I heard we were signing him, I thought it was a good for us because I have been following him for a while," said Lucas of the club’s £29M star signing, who is expected to join up with his new teammates soon. "I haven't met him, I only know him from watching the national team. He has got a good record for Brazil—four goals in nine games, which is great."

The midfielder also sees some similarities between Firmino’s game and Luis Suarez’, though he cautions it would be unwise to expect him to come in and make the same instant impact. Still, having performed to a high level in Germany, the similar style of the Premier League should suit Liverpool’s newest signing, who Lucas sees filling a forward role at the club.

"We will see where he fits in," Lucas added. "He showed in Germany what he is capable of and hopefully he will be able to adapt as soon as possible. I remember when Suarez arrived at Liverpool and people didn't know much about him. Hopefully he will be the new Suarez because that would be great for the club, but it is not fair to put that pressure on him now.

"I think he has got all the attributes to be a great player for the club, for sure. He is a goalscorer. He plays for the national team like a number nine. I don't think he is the same as Philippe, who is more of a creator, [but] hopefully there will be a good link between the two. I just want to make sure he feels comfortable, show him around the city and the club."