For every combination of footballers that delight fans with their connection, there is a potentially scintillating pairing we miss out on. Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres was extremely potent for a few seasons, but many Liverpool supporters rue the fact that Torres never got to pair up with Luiz Suarez in a competitive fixture. Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger enjoyed a wonderful partnership-slash-bromance at Anfield, yet we were denied the all-lefty pairing of Agger and Mamadou Sakho, despite the two spending time at the club concurrently.
Naturally, players are only human, and can't be expected to evade these sorts of ideas themselves. All professional footballers grew up idolising a variety of men who came before them, and it is only natural that they establish notions about which of their contemporaries they would like to one day share a pitch with.
Given his prodigious talent, Steven Gerrard has been on the receiving end of many such aspirations over the course of his career, earning the status of dream-mate with illustrious performers such as Thierry Henry and Zinedine Zidane.
Now retired and having stepped into the role of manager for the Liverpool Under-18s, Gerrard has time to ruminate on which of the current crop of Reds he would've liked to partner with in his career. And after having spent minutes on the pitch with them in Australia, one name sticks out to the lifetime Red.
“To play with Firmino, especially, was an absolute pleasure," was Gerrard's immediate reply in the aftermath of the Reds' post-season friendly. "I would have loved to have played with him for a couple of years.
“He’s a very intelligent footballer. He’s on that same wavelength – he sees things. There are players and there are levels and he’s absolutely top level.”
While Firmino isn't as mercurial as his compatriot Philippe Coutinho, and while he still has his detractors, the 25-year old has been chosen as the offensive hub of Jürgen Klopp's side, the player around which the team's attack revolves, and he has contributed a total of 45 goals and assists in his two seasons at the club. While the manager is reportedly targeting at least one attacker this summer, it seems likely that Gerrard and Klopp are on the same wavelength, and that Firmino's position in the team remains secure.