A player heavily linked with Manchester United has now agreed a deal to sign for Liverpool, but it is the best move for all parties.
Prior to the news – as reported by the BBC – that Liverpool had agreed a £29million deal to sign Roberto Firmino from Hoffenheim, it had been suggested that Manchester United were favourites for the Brazilian’s signature.
As reported by the Mirror earlier this month, United were said to be very keen to bring the 23-year-old to Old Trafford. But with Anfield now confirmed as his next destination, the simple fact is a move to Louis van Gaal’s side would have made little sense…at least for the club.
Firmino is predominantly an attacking midfielder and United have those in abundance. His best position – from which he has scored the majority of his 48 goals for Hoffenheim – is behind the front-man and had he arrived at Old Trafford it would have thrown another player into an already over-populated pool of talent.
With Juan Mata, Adnan Januzaj, Angel Di Maria and Ander Herrera all able to play in that position – and even Wayne Rooney if required – signing Firmino would have smacked of collecting players in a certain position rather than focusing on the areas in need of strengthening.
For United those areas are centre-back, right-back, central midfield and up front and while Firmino can play in the latter role his best work has always been done behind a central striker.
To say Firmino would have been a bad signing for United would be foolish. He is a supremely talented young man and has all that is necessary to become a Liverpool great if he settles in England.
But United did not need him, whereas Liverpool most certainly did. Only at the end of the season will we see who made the right call in that regard.