Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has offered an inside view on fellow countryman and new summer signing Roberto Firmino, the Liverpool Echo reports.
The Reds began their pre-season tour in Thailand yesterday with a 4-0 win, but they are being made to wait a little longer to see their £29 million (price reported by the BBC) signing from Hoffenheim in action as he has been offered an extended break on the back of his participation in Brazil's Copa America campaign, alongside Reds fans' favourite Philippe Coutinho.
Lucas says he hasn't met Firmino, but has noted his obvious potential and hopes he can become a star for the Reds like former forward Luis Suarez - who was sold to Barcelona in a big-money deal 12 months ago.
Lucas is quoted in the Echo as saying: “When I heard we were signing him, I thought it was a good signing for us because I have been following him for a while.
“Hopefully he will be the new Suarez because that would be great for the club but it is not fair to put that pressure on him now. I think he has got all the attributes to be a great player for the club, for sure.”
Firmino has been performing alongside Coutinho at the Copa America, with the two reported to be close friends, but Lucas says there are differences between the two, suggesting that Liverpool fans can expect Firmino to chip in more in terms of goals.
“Firmino is a goalscorer,” he added.
“I don’t think he is the same as Philippe, who is more of a creator. Hopefully there will be a good link between the two."
Coutinho has started to add more goals to his game, but after a season where the Reds simply weren't clinical enough, it seems that Firmino could be the man to add that cutting edge to the Reds going forward as they look to rediscover their scoring touch and break back into the Premier League’s top four.