Si Señor - There's something that the Kop want you to know


Yes it is indeed that depressing time of year, kids are back to school, the weather is getting darker and the rain is back (did it ever go away?).  By far the worst of all the first International break of the season is upon us.  In these long hard two weeks which may well feel like four can we just sit back and appreciate a man by the name of Roberto Firmino Barbosa de Oliveira.

Where it all Began

Liverpool Football Club - the year is 2015 and the Premier League season has just begun with a 1-0 win at Stoke City - a notoriously hard stadium to achieve three points.  A certain Brazilian by the name of Philipe Coutinho (who is he again?) settled the affair with a goal towards the end of the game, which in truth was a poor contest, but an improvement on the 6-1 drubbing in Steven Gerrard's final game as a reds player in the club's final Premier League game of last season.  Jordan Henderson was the new captain.  The result does not mask the issues the side are facing after failing to sustain 2013/14’s title challenge with a 6th place finish the season before.  This side contained Jordan Ibe and of course, £32 million signing Christian Benteke, who was replaced by another new signing, Roberto Firmino, after the 75 minute mark.  Little did we know what impact the £29 million signing - who had scored seven league goals for Hoffenheim the season before and assisting another ten - would make in restoring the club to the top of the English and European game.

Today

Fast forward four years, a charismatic German named Jurgen Klopp has replaced Brendan Rodgers, who was sacked just two months after that win in Stoke.  The club are for many one of the favourites to go all the way and lift a first Premier League title since 1990, after finishing second last season with a record breaking points total of 97 which would have won the Premier League in every season barring the last two.  At the centre of this talented side is that new signing 4 years ago, Roberto Firmino.  

£29 million? A bargain and a half it has to be said.  'Bobby' is just off the back of a man of the match performance in the 3-0 win at Burnley, where he notched his second assist of the season with a driving run and pass to Mane who finished putting the reds two up.  He also scored his second league of the season with a fine low strike on the edge of the 18 yard box to wrap up the 3 points.  That goal made Bobby the first Brazilian to score 50 goals in the Premier League, ahead of some stellar names such as Gabriel Jesus, Willian, Juninho and that Philipe Coutinho fella.  Whoscored gave Firmino a 9.45 rating out of 10 while according to the same site he had 5 shots, 2 on target, made 2 key passes and won 4 aerial duels.
Anyone who has watched Liverpool, or is a fan, will say that he is not a natural goalscorer but it's an impressive record factoring in his role in the side.  Firmino drops deep and drags centre backs with him to create space in behind for Salah and Mane and if the defenders decide not to follow him he is the link up and creativity that many say is missing in the squad.  His value is unquestionable, but it is not only now Liverpool fans have begun to value his worth.  Transfermarkt have his market value at an eye-watering £72 million at time of writing.  In today's market, one can only imagine the kind of fee he would command. 

You can see all 50 of Bobby Firmino's Premier goals here

Form is Temporary - Class is Permanent 

Not one Liverpool fan will have forgotten the club's Champions League progress over the last two seasons - two finals, heartbreak in one and a 6th European Cup in the other.  In the 2017/18 run which ended with a defeat to Real Madrid in the final, Firmino was like a man possessed with doubles away at Maribor and Sevilla alongside a two goal two assist display at Anfield in the semi final first leg 5-2 win over AS Roma.  In total his numbers were 11 goals and 9 assists across the competition that season.  For a player who's numbers don't always reflect his contribution, it was an incredible tally.  

Why stop there? Firmino's numbers may have dropped as Liverpool became more resilient in grounding out wins in last season's Champions League route to winning the trophy, but he still added 4 goals in 8 starts and started the Champions League final win over Tottenham Hotspur. LFChistory.net has Firmino joint 5th on the all time LFC European goalscorer list alongside the two amigos - who is to say how close he will get to Stevie G's record of 41?  Speaking of numbers the same site has Firmino joint 9th in terms of the club's all time leading scorers in the Premier League.  His game might restrict him from chasing down Robbie Fowler's total but he will be remembered as one of the club's greatest Premier League players.  On the International stage, a memorable summer was completed with Brazil lifting the Copa America with Firmino contributing a grand total of two goals and 3 assists across 6 appearances.  Not a bad summer if I do say so myself. 

Picture courtesy of LiverpoolFC.com 

In my opinion, I feel he is one of the best forwards in the world.  Numbers are one thing, but his overall game has helped this Liverpool side immensely.  A quick Google search shows numerous articles praising Firmino since his Burnley performance and while this may seem like a 'jumping on the bandwagon' kind of moment.... well, you know what it kind of is! Let's all jump on the bandwagon and enjoy this special talent while it lasts ... unless of course you are a Manchester City fan.  Here's to plenty more influential performances, history making and entertaining goal celebrations! 

Rivals fans (Be nice City fans) drop a comment and let us know your views on the Brazilian - Liverpool fans let us know how much you appreciate Bobby! 

Twitter: @AdamLangdon11 
Facebook: MacTireSports

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