Dietmarr Hamann is spot on. Roberto Firmino is the most underrated player in the premier League.
At Liverpool Mane, Coutinho and Lallana are receiving much of the praises deservingly. However, observing Firmino, he reminds me of a former Anfield icon.
Firmino is creative, links up play with the attackers, he has an astute eye for a pass and the instinct to take a shot from distance with great effects. He tracks back when needed. In the last game against Hull with a 5-1 lead, Firmino was still harassing opponents in their own half during the final 5 minutes. Recall a player who had all this attributes? The one and only, Steven Gerrard.
Bar the language, Firmino is doing what Stevie G used to do at Anfield; make other players look good. Just as Stevie did for Torres, Suarez and Sturridge etc.
I wrote a blog when this former Hoffenheim player signed for Liverpool, that he could be Ian Ayre’s best signing of his Liverpool tenure, as much as it was a surprise when he clinched the deal. Because Firmino was Brazil’s best player 2 years ago in Copa America and top la-liga clubs were watching him closely.
Anyway, back to the present day, Firmino has the quality to become a Red lynchpin like Stevie was. Although Stevie’s is a huge vacuum to fill by anyone, bringing the best out of attacking play and making the strikers look lethal is a similarity Firmino has to Gerrard’s.
And of course making or scoring the important goals, always make such players a ‘must have’ in any line-up.
Firmino got the penalty at White Hart Lane this season, laid on the pass for Lallana’s goal against Arsenal and his exquisite lay-on for Coutinho against Derby was simply sixth-sense stuff.
These were not just assist mind you, but moments that changed the game. At Emirates, Lallana’s goal changed the momentum, against Spurs, it took the fight out the opponents and against the Rams, it calmed the nerves.
It may not be as glamorous or as committed as a scouser but it contributed to some important aspects of Liverpool’s mentality in games. Which is why, Firmino could become Liverpool’s most attractive and effective playmaker since Steven Gerrard’s departure. Along with the footballing intelligence that not too many players are blessed with to time the runs into dangerous areas to finish off a move. Again, something Stevie G was revered for in his peak.
Having such players will also become a big-plus point when signing future stars. It would be a joy to play along Firmino to increase their own values.
Not to mention, Firmino has that consistency so far this season and looks to play with ease on either flanks which would mean giving options to strikers and midfielders to change their game as well. Not taking away credit of course from Mane, Couts, Lallana for the understanding they have formed with such teammate
It may seem I am getting carried away with my comparison to a Liverpool legend here. But seeing how Firmino is bringing players into the game and gelling in so easily, adding to his own skill’s, tricks and vision, Firmino is threatening to become Europe most wanted soon.
And with Firmino looking to get only better and under the guidance of Klopp, he could easily fill in for Toni Kross at Real Madrid, or for Iniesta at the Nou Camp. Or Roman Abramovich could throw up filthy money to end Firmino’s career.
So the onus is on FSG to reward and keep Firmino at Anfield for a long time and not back to square one.