As confirmed by the BBC, Liverpool have signed forward Roberto Firmino from Hoffenheim on a five-year deal for a fee in the region of £29 million, the deal subject to a medical.
Following last season’s disappointment, the Reds have been eager to make important additions this summer, and bringing in some much-needed creativity was a must.
Last season, Brendan Rodgers’ men only found the net in the Premier League on 52 occasions, 49 efforts down on the previous campaign when Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge ran riot.
The absence of the duo, the latter through injury, hit them hard but following the acquisition of Firmino the Reds’ supporters can expect a huge improvement on the goal front next season.
Brazilian players over the years have been widely recognised for their flamboyant skills and trickery, but also importantly their ability to create game-defining moments in the final third.
Barcelona’s Neymar was part of an astonishing 122-goal trident last season, yet it is Liverpool’s new signing and not the Catalan superstar who has in fact been Brazil’s most creative player in recent years.
62 – Since his debut in Feb 2011, R Firmino has been involved in more goals (62) than any other Brazilian in the top five leagues. Settled.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 24, 2015
21 - Roberto Firmino has recorded 21 assists over the last two seasons, more than any other Brazilian in the top 5 European leagues. Create.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 24, 2015
Last season, Firmino, 23, proved once again to be Hoffenheim’s most talented player as he notched seven goals and 10 assists in 33 Bundesliga matches.
The prospect of the Brazilian international teaming up with his compatriot Philippe Coutinho at Anfield is one which surely whets the appetite, though question marks remain over Raheem Sterling.
Paying such a big fee for Firmino may suggest Brendan Rodgers is ready to part with the England international, especially considering his price will drop the longer he remains at Anfield.