On Saturday, Roberto Firmino became the first Brazilian in Premier League history to score 50 league goals.
However, his Liverpool career could have gone a very different way. And for his first couple of months with the club, he struggled to make an appearance, let alone score a goal, under previous manager Brendan Rodgers. It’s crazy to think about now, but Rodgers didn’t want the young, hardworking Brazilian sensation with an eye for goal who was killing it at Hoffenheim. Instead Rodgers was insistent on fitting a Christian Benteke peg into a Firmino shaped hole.
Thank Fowler for the transfer committee.
It didn’t take long for new manager Jurgen Klopp to figure out the problem—and to move Bobby from right wingback to a more attacking position, eventually into the false nine.
And then the goals came.
His first goal for Liverpool was in a 4-1 defenestration of Manchester City (a result which would be very welcomed this season), and his next two were against Arsenal for a brace. He finished the campaign with 10 league goals, and he was off and running.
He’s netted double-digit league goals in each of his first four full seasons for Liverpool, but more important than “just” the goals, he’s become a focal point for the attack and a tireless presser of the ball in defense. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane might be putting up the big numbers in front of the Kop, but Firmino is the glue that holds Europe’s most-feared trio together.
He’s our number nine. Give him the ball, he’ll score every time.