Liverpool have inexplicably lacked a talisman to guide them through the hurdles since Luis Suarez joined Catalan outfit FC Barcelona in 2014. Fans and club authorities expected someone to step up into the empty shoes, but none did as expected. The probable candidates for the job – Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling – failed in this prospect as the former was frequently left out-of-action due to a string of injuries while the latter indirectly exposed his desire to move away from the Anfield, which he did in 2015 summer transfer window. Philippe Coutinho and Henderson occasionally spirited the hopes with stellar performances, but failed to implicate such charisma in the long run.
When the Merseyside club signed Roberto Firmino from the German club Hoffenheim in 2015 July for a reported fee of 29 million pounds, the Kopite expected a player who could be deployed as a second striker to Daniel Sturridge or Christian Benteke. Hopes were high on the Brazilian’s shoulder as the Liverpool faithful relayed on his renowned dribbling skills and great shots.
But Firmino endured a tough start to his English adventures, as he failed to score goals, provide decisive key passes and was scrutinized by pundits for his lack of co-operation with Benteke. In the first half of the campaign, he scored just one goal, tempting fans to deem his as another ‘false signing’.
But the 24-year-old has stay put to his critics since the start of 2016. He had found feet, and adjusted to the new situations by the end of last year, and have been involved directly or indirectly in 11 goals for Liverpool in the Premier League, making hi s stat the best in the League in 2016, surpassing Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa. He has scored seven Premier League goals this year, which include a brace against Arsenal and Norwich City, which saw Liverpool outrunning the Canaries in a nine goal thriller. He also scored twice against Manchester City, much to the delight of Liverpool fans to flaunt on their ex-favourite Sterling, who Firmino has succeeded as fan favourite.
The Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp who has been assigned to bring back the glory days to Anfield has praised the player, pointing out his effectiveness in all positions upfront. His heroics can not be deemed with his offensive style of play, as he is not afraid to throw himself into imperative tackles. He has made 54 tackles since the New Year, and has a success rate of 84%, which is an envious stat by any player.
His luminous form will be inevitable to Liverpool’s run in the present and upcoming seasons. He has already stationed himself in the list of best signings of last summer, despite poor run of form in his first five months in England. But it is time for Firmino to repay the trust of his fans and manager as Klopp and Kop will have enormous expectations on their new star, which will force the player to sustain his worth to bring Liverpool back to Europe’s top.