12 Mar 2016

Liverpool Smackdown: 62% of fans insist Firmino is better than 'genius' €40m attacker

Earlier this week, ex-Red Jamie Redknapp hailed Leicester City start Riyadh Mahrez as the Premier League's 'Player of the Season', but is he a better player than the Liverpool's Roberto Firmino, who performs a similar role for the Reds?

When asked on Sunday whether £29m-rated Mahrez is the Prem's 'player of the Year' Redknapp told Sky Sports:

"I think he [Mahrez] is. He a genius, and there are only a few player who possess his quality".

Roberto Firmino is the closest Liverpool have got to a Mahrez-type player, but when it comes to actual end product, Mahrez is leaving Brazilian in the dust:

* Mahrez: 26 goals/assists in 30 games (One every 91 mins)

* Firmino: 18 goals/assists in 37 games (One every 139 mins)

I conducted a poll this week asking fans who they'd rather have playing for Liverpool.

The results:

Mahrez - who, according to the CIES Football observatory, is worth €40m - is on fire this season, but like the majority of poll participants, I also chose Firmino, for the following reasons:

* From what I've seen, he has more pace than Mahrez (especially over 5-10 yards), and to my eyes, Firmino has greater body strength.

* Firmino has done the business in two of Europe's best leagues; Mahrez is superb this season, but this is the only outstanding season of his career.

The best thing about Firmino is that Liverpool finally have another attacking midfielder who delivers consistent end product. The Brazilian is on 18 goals/assists already, and if he keeps his current rate of prolificity, he could end the season with a laudable 25+ goals/assists.

Brendan Rodgers wasted tens of millions on dud players over the years, but with Firmino, he appears to have got it right.

Author: Jaimie K


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