He may not be up to full match fitness yet, having come back late from the Copa America this summer, and the only trophy he's currently contending for is Saddest Warm-up Face, but Roberto Firmino has put Liverpool fans on notice with deft touches, tackles, silver platter crosses and a left-footed hammer strike off the post that deserved better.
The two-footed playmaker has been described as more German than most Germans by former coach and ex-Liverpool defender Markus Babbel, citing his discipline and machine-like work rate, attributes that should make him a perfect fit for the hustle and bustle of the Premier League. Attributes that aren't typically associated with Brazilian playmakers.
It seems a perfect match, and to hear Firmino himself tell it, the match may have been written in the stars long ago:
"It’s strange but I remember just before I moved to Hoffenheim that I had a dream about playing in England.
"At the time that wasn’t an option, the opportunity wasn’t there for me. Then it came along a few months ago and I quickly decided it was the right offer for me.
"As a footballer I always want more. I really enjoyed my time in Germany but didn’t actually win anything. So the next step was to join a club that can compete for trophies, that’s why I came here.
"I want to fight for titles and play in the Champions League. So moving here really is a dream come true."
Most football fans have heard the "dream come true" line more times than they can count -- usually bookended by the "childhood fan" and "great history" cliches -- but rarely is it meant to be taken quite this literal. Perhaps Firmino's knack for knowing which way defenders will move and where his team mates will make their runs is all about moderate psychic powers, but more likely, it is simply supreme skill, the same thing that predicated his move to Liverpool.
Continuing the theme, the young Brazilian went on to offer insight into his superstitions and rituals surrounding football matches:
"A lot of Brazilians are very superstitious, especially footballers,"
"I’m the same. I always step on to the pitch with my right foot first.
"It’s quite curious that back home – even if you are left-footed – it is considered lucky to enter the pitch with your right foot. I don’t know why that is the case.
"I have other mandatory superstitions before a game too. I pray and listen to music on the way to the stadium. I also bless myself just before kick-off."
Meanwhile, Liverpool fans with the inclination to pray will probably focus on the new big-money signing returning from international duty in one piece, while the heathens might offer up an animal sacrifice or two to the injury gods.