After the departure of his Brazilian compatriot to Barcelona, many feared that Roberto Firmino might be the next player to start eyeing the exits. He’s had a brilliant season with the club, and Klopp is eager to heap praise on the feisty, clever attacker whom he’s trusted to lead the line.
In a recent interview, for as much as these things really matter, Firmino has come out saying that he’s very happy with his situation in Liverpool and hopes to remain with the club for the foreseeable future.
“I’m very happy here at Liverpool and I do not see myself out of that club for years to come,” he said. I believe I am living one of the best phases of my career and I owe much to the trust that the club has placed in me from the beginning.
“I feel very good here in Liverpool. I am very adapted to the city, the club, and the warmth I receive from the fans makes me even happier with the work we are producing. And all this support makes me even more willing to conquer great things wearing the shirt of Liverpool.”
Strong words from Firmino, which should make many Liverpool fans happy, though those with long memories will recall that Philippe Coutinho made similar statements last season before forcing a move to Spain only a few months later.
So these kinds of things matter only until they don’t anymore, but for right now, at least, it seems that Firmino is happy to remain at Liverpool to continue working towards Klopp’s vision of the club, which is a very good thing.
“The arrival of Jürgen Klopp was very important for my growth within the team,” he explained. “Since he arrived here at Liverpool, he has changed my positioning, put me playing as a forward and that was the watershed for me here at the club.”
His current contract expires in 2020, and he had this to say about the transfer speculation that has come up around him: “In every transfer window we hear a lot of speculation, but nothing concrete has come to me until now. I am very happy here at Liverpool and my thinking is to build a history with many victories and titles by that club. I have a contract with Liverpool until 2020 and I hope to keep it.”
The £29m that the club shelled out to get him from Hoffenheim looks like a steal now, given his incredible contribution to the club. So far this season, he’s scored 19 goals and notched 10 assists in all competitions, and you wouldn’t bet against him adding to that total before the season is up.
The only dim spot in all of this is the ongoing FA investigation of Firmino supposedly using a racial slur against Everton player Mason Holgate during a heated FA Cup match last month. The FA is still in the process of interviewing witnesses, and the investigation appears to be slow-going.