Roberto Firmino: An Integral Role

The Anfield Talk’s Logan (@kidd9logan) reflects on Roberto Firmino’s season, his new contract and what he means to Liverpool. 

The flashy celebrations and the signature no look finish will remain at Anfield until 2023. Roberto Firmino agreed to a five year deal worth upwards of 9 million pounds a year at £180,000 a week, making him the highest paid member of the squad.

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Since his 29 million pound move to Merseyside from Hoffenheim in the Summer of 2015, he has evolved into one of the worlds best false nines. This season, Firmino has netted 27 goals and assisted 16 times, propelling the Reds into the top four of the Premier League and into the semifinals of the Champions League. In his 101 appearances for the club in Premier League play, Firmino has notched 36 goals and assisted 21 times, giving him 0.36 goals per game.

Along with his fantastic abilities going forward, Firmino has transformed into an exceptional defender when necessary. His ability to track back in order to retrieve the ball in the defencive half has to be credited to the style of play that Klopp implemented at the club. Due to his remarkable ability to track back, Firmino is the highest tackling striker in the League and is very beneficial to the lethal counter attack.

In a recent interview with LFC.com, Firmino hailed Klopp and his ability to transform players. “ The manager coming the the football club was not only good for me, but for the whole team. The manager has helped me a lot. We’ve grown a lot and are now showing that with results on the pitch.” When Klopp took charge of the team in October of 2015, Firmino finally started to make the squad more regularly than when Brendan Rodgers was in charge. Firmino’s development has definitely increased since then.

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Bobby has become the focal point of the style of football that Klopp has implemented at the club. Having Bobby back at the club for at least another five years shows Klopp that the players are really buying into those methods he has imposed.

Also in a recent  interview with LFC.com, Firmino was asked about the fans and the impact that they have had on his decision. Firmino immediately responded after the question with “It was a very easy decision. I’m very happy here. I love the fans. Fans are fantastic to me.” From the “Bobby Firmino” chants to the glorious banners on the Kop, the fans truly love Roberto Firmino.

Firmino really deserved the contract extension after the career-high season he had. He registered 28 goals in all competitions along with 14 assists. Like every footballer in the world, there were the ups and downs for Firmino in the season. Everyone was waiting to see how he would respond to the departure of his countryman, Philippe Coutinho. He responded the only way the Brazilian knows how, with goals. He scored three goals in a four match span after the transfer of Coutinho.

The first half of the season Firmino had a start like every other season. He had a fantastic start with two goals and two assists in the first two games of the season. Throughout the group stages of the Champions League, he scored six times and assisted three times.

During the month of March, Firmino’s great season started to plateau. He only scored once and had one assist. When April came around, he caught fire yet again. He finished the month with four goals and four assists including massive performances in the Champions League against Roma. Hopefully his great ending to April can turn over into May and to the Champions League final this weekend. Firmino is a huge piece of the future and what this team can ultimately achieve.

Being included in the Brazil squad for this Summer’s World Cup, Firmino is ready to shine on the world stage once more. He is ready to prove that he is indeed, one of the best strikers in the world. Although many reports from the Brazilian camp suggest that Gabriel Jesus will be the main striker, Firmino will be able to fly under the radar just like he has his whole career in order to hopefully propel Brazil back to being world champions.

The confirmation of this deal has given Liverpool a breath of fresh air due to the amount of interest the Brazilian was generating. If the deal had not been signed, some of Europe’s biggest clubs could have made an attempt to sign the Brazilian. If he did make a move to a different club, the team spirit and the buying in to Klopp’s tactics could have changed. Everything has stabilized and the Brazilian has decided to remain at Anfield and continue scoring goals in front of the Kop.

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