Although Liverpool have only just completed the heavily debated and highly divisive transfer of Belgian hit-man Christian Benteke from Aston Villa, of all of the Reds signings this summer, Hoffenheim attacker Roberto Firmino remains not only the most discussed, but also the one with the most expectation hanging over his head — something that former defender Jamie Carragher is apprehensive about.
“Though 95% of Liverpool supporters have never seen Firmino in action – YouTube doesn’t count – they believe he is already on his way to becoming an icon,” said the Liverpool legend. “He comes from Brazil, his style is similar to Luis Suarez’s and his form for Hoffenheim was brilliant, leaving fans saying: ‘Imagine what he’ll be like for us!’ That is the mystique of buying players from abroad,” he explained. Firmino could well be another Suarez; he could also be another Alberto Aquilani.”
With seven new faces added to the squad and a back-room staff that has only just come in, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers will do well to get his coaching staff and his players on the same page before the season kicks-off against Stoke City in mid-August. Although a number of the Northern Irishman’s signings are no strangers to the rough and tumble English game, Firmino — like most South American’s arriving in England — could find life in the Premier League difficult despite his assertions to the contrary.
“I am, without a doubt. German football, where I’ve played for nearly five years, is very similar – maybe just a little less tough than English football. I’m confident I’ll be just fine here,” he said when asked if he’ll be able to adapt to his new surroundings. “It’s a unique opportunity. I could say Liverpool is the first big club I will play for. It’s a massive chance for me to show what I can do,” continued the Reds midfielder. “(I am) a player who works hard and who’s constantly looking to support his teammates on the pitch. He’s a player with an attitude and who knows how to play a tactical role with the team.”