Lee Dixon has told the Handbrake Off Podcast that Roberto Firmino is a ‘one-off’ type of player who his Liverpool teammates would deem their ‘favourite’ player.
The former top-flight-winning defender was talking about the art of the number nine and how Firmino is different to others because he isn’t judged on goals like other traditional players are in that role.
Firmino is one of the most technically-gifted attackers playing the Premier League today and the intelligence he has in finding space and linking teammates with one another is of high-quality.
Dixon is clearly a fan of the light-footed Brazilian, who has danced his way to success on Merseyside in recent years by helping the Reds win the Champions League and the Premier League title.
“All centre-forwards will be judged [on their goals] unless you are Firmino,” Dixon told the Handbrake Off Podcast. “He’s kind of like a one-off for me with Liverpool, the way he plays and the way Liverpool play.
“He’s not a goalscorer in that respect but he links everybody else up. It enables Salah and Mane to be the ones that get the goals – If you go round to the Liverpool players and ask them who is their favourite player to play with in the last third of the pitch, or from midfield onwards, they would probably pick him.
“His ability to give you the ball back in that position when you play a ball into him, invariably he does something with it. He doesn’t give the ball away. He’s always around the areas you need him and that’s staying pretty central, dropping deep and anywhere on the pitch you can kind of find out where he is.”
Liverpool’s trophies under Jurgen Klopp
UEFA Super Cup
FIFA Club World Cup
Firmino is yet to get off the mark in the Premier League this season, but Mo Salah netted a hat-trick on an opening day, whilst Sadio Mane scored a brace against Chelsea.
And Firmino’s off-the-ball movement and assist for Mane’s headed goal at Stamford Bridge is proof of the ingredients the false number nine can bring to the table.
Liverpool have made a 100% start to the new season and it will be interesting to see how they fare against a resurgent Arsenal side on Monday night.