The painful news broke on Friday that Roberto Firmino will be ending his eight year run with the club this summer after the expiration of his current contract. The Brazilian is a favorite around Anfield for good reason. His loyalty, skills, and outrageous personality have endeared him to the fans for the better part of a decade.
Firmino is one of the few players remaining on the team who precede manager Jürgen Klopp. Seeing him go will be sad, but it helps to know that he is leaving on mostly good terms with the club as he seeks a new challenge elsewhere.
Firmino’s agent Roger Wittmann confirmed that though the club was ready to engage in talks about extending his stay, the player refused. He made his feelings known to Wittmann on Wednesday following the Reds’ victory against Wolves. Then on Friday, he personally informed Klopp of his decision.
“Our plan for the next couple of weeks – this is the plan of Roberto – is to show the manager and Liverpool finally again the best version of him to say goodbye. This is what he wants to do,” Wittmann told Football Insider.
For anyone familiar with the flamboyant and unique Firmino, it will come as no surprise that he didn’t go about this decision to become a free agent in the usual way.
“He has no clue what that means for him in the near future. He told us during the whole phase when we negotiated, ‘I don’t want to talk to anybody else, there’s no need to do that’. He said it was a decision with the club.
“This was the first time in my life he’s a free agent player and he said there was no need to talk to others! So he’s not motivated by other clubs or by financial terms – far away from that.
“The club gave him the time as well, no pressure. And he never started to compare asking us to talk to different clubs. For us [it would be] easy but this was not his intention, it was just to find his own way. This is so far away from this normal business, believe me!”
The mutual respect between player and club has been apparent since Firmino’s arrival during Brendan Rodgers’ reign. His decreased presence in the first team following the arrival of Diogo Jota, Cody Gakpo, Darwin Núñez, and Luis Díaz is no doubt responsible for his decision to move on.
Despite this disappointing news, it’s far from the last we will see of Firmino in a red shirt. There is still plenty of season left to play, and Bobby is sure to leave us with some more fond memories before he takes his final bow.