Roberto Firmino- The Most Important Piece Of Liverpool's Puzzle
Liverpool have improved by leaps and bounds under the management of Jurgen Klopp over the past four years. Despite that, the only silverware they have got to show for it is the Champions League title that they won last year.
Trophies, however, are never enough to judge a team’s progress. It has surely not been an over-night process. Klopp and Liverpool's board showed a lot of patience and farsightedness by improving the team over time. They now look the only side in England capable enough to challenge Manchester City's league dominance.
One of the biggest factors behind the rise and rise of the Reds is their attacking triumvirate of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. While the former two might make the headlines on most occasions, Firmino holds the key to Liverpool’s free-flowing attack. He is the most important piece in the puzzle, despite the fact that Mane and Salah score more goals than him.
Firmino is a one of a kind forward who would not hesitate to pass the ball to his team-mates, if he believes that they have a better chance of scoring than him. His selflessness and work-ethic are the reasons why Salah and Mane get so many chances and why they can play with so much freedom. Firmino is all over the pitch. He makes tackles, he hassles the opponent defenders and is the leader of the press in Klopp’s system.
Klopp is able to tweak his system and his tactics during matches thanks to Firmino. We have seen the Brazilian being deployed as a number nine, a number ten and also on the flanks occasionally. He has even been used in midfield on some occasions.
As Firmino used to be a number ten during most of his career, his creativity is much more when compared to the other forwards. Also, the Brazilian is a complete footballer who is not only excellent with either foot, but also in the air.
Liverpool are a whole different team when Firmino is not on the pitch. Liverpool fans call him “El Systemino” for a reason. It’s not just about the amount of goals scored or assists provided. He is a perfect team player, who hardly cares about his personal accolades.
Nurtured by Jurgen Klopp into a forward from an attacking midfielder, Firmino is the dream player for every manager. He is a one of a kind player, a player Liverpool are lucky to have. A player Salah and Mane are surely lucky to have alongside them, as part of the trio.
Cover image credits: Express.co.uk