EPL

Published on December 9th, 2017 | by BrazilStats

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Why Roberto Firmino is finally finding his Anfield feet

After some less than stellar statistics for Liverpool, Roberto Firmino is now playing a crucial role in the Anfield’s club fantastic four

Roberto Firmino has earned the privilege of being labeled the best Brazilian striker in European football this season, based on his impressive performances for Liverpool. The 26-year-old is arguably experiencing his best form ever as he aims to guide the English giants as far as possible this season.

Liverpool currently possess one of the deadliest attacking quartets in world football, with Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mané, Mohamed Salah and Firmino guiding the front-line. The latter, is without a doubt, the most underrated of the four.

It probably has a lot to do with his shy character as well his unselfishness in front of goal. On several situations, Firmino has showed that isn’t bothered less by his individual stats, as he allowed Mané and Salah to grab goals in situations where all he needed to do was to tap the ball into the back of the net.

The Brazil international has been excellent in all competitions this season, but what stands out the most is his Champions League contribution, where he has already scored six and mustered 3 assists. To put it into perspective, this is exactly the same tally as a certain Neymar.

Cristiano Ronaldo is the only player with more goals than Roberto in the competition. All in all, Firmino is already on 18 goal involvements, and it is still early December. He might have been criticized for his relatively disappointing figures over the past few years, but right now he is as clinical as ever.

What makes Firmino so special is that he can have an excellent game without even needing to score, something which is rare to find in a striker in modern days. For example, Gabriel Jesus might well be the better finisher between the two, but it is a rarity to say that he had a world class performance, even without finding the back of the net – and the same would apply for the likes of Sergio Aguero and Romelu Lukaku.

Roberto Firmino is the complete central forward, who is capable of creating just as well as scoring. He is always energetic and effective in his high pressing, which is essential in Liverpool’s system. His quality allows him to drop deep, and drag his marker, which distracts the attention of the back-line, allowing Klopp’s pacy wingers to attack the space. In brief, the former Hoffenheim-man is a midfielder and an attacker at the same time, due to his hybrid style of play, allowing him to be multi-functional.

Gabriel Jesus has been the main striker for Brazil’s national team, ever since Tite took command over a year ago. And there is nothing to suggest that the Manchester City youngster deserves to be dropped from the starting lineup. However, with his rather complicated club situation at the moment, finding himself sharing game time with Sergio Aguero, the situation is a bit of a concern, just six months away from the World Cup. But either way, whether Jesus is out of form, injured or even suspended, it is essential to be able to rely on another high-quality competitor.

Firmino has another chance to ingratiate himself to the Liverpool supporters on Sunday by continuing the club’s bid for a top four finish this season, with three points against their own noisy neighbours of Everton.

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