14 Mar 2016

'He's Brilliant': Hendo hails 'unbelievable' £29m attacker and makes surprise admission about transfer

After a slow start at Anfield, £29m summer signing Roberto Firmino is emerging as a genuine contender for LFC's 'Player of the Season', and his form in 2016 is impressing Reds captain Jordan Henderson, who has praised the Brazilian's ongoing impact on Jurgen Klopp's team.

"Being completely honest, I had seen very little of him before he arrived here. Naturally, he needed some time to settle in but he's been brilliant for us, especially over the last few months".

Firmino in numbers:

* Transfer Fee: £29m

* Total LFC Games: 37

* Total Minutes: 2505

* Goals/Assists - All Comps: 18 in 37 apps (One every 139 mins)

* G/A - Prem Only: 16 in 25 apps (One every 98 mins)

* G/A - Central Striker: 11 in 10 apps (One every 80 mins)

* G/A - Secondary Striker: 6 in 11 apps (One every 143 mins)

* G/A - Winger: 1 in 16 apps (One every 738 mins).

* G/A - 2016 Only: 12 in 15 apps (One every 108 mins)

The moral of this story? Play Firmino as a striker/Secondary striker at all times! The Brazilian's record from wide positions is poor, so there's clearly no point playing him there.

Something else is also clear: Firmino - hailed by Dejan Lovren for his 'unbelievable talent - needs to improve his output in cup competitions. 16 of his 18 goals/assists have come in the league, and he's contributed a measly 2 goals/assists in 12 cup games (Europa/League Cup).

In January, Brazil legend Ronaldinho enthused:

"He [Firmino] is one of the best at what he does in the world. He's in the same class as Silva, Iniesta, and all the other great players who play that role".

Gross overhype notwithstanding, it remains to be seen whether Firmino can achieve the necessary consistency to merit comparison with the likes of Iniesta.

For now, though, Firmino's first season in English football is, so far, a success, and his superb form in 2016 makes a mockery of his recent exclusion from the Brazil national team (later rectified, but still...)

Author: Jaimie K


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