Liverpool is one of the most exciting teams to watch in the English Premier League.
Jurgen Klopp employs a high-intensity style that demands all of his players to contribute to phases of attacking and defensive play.
No player in Liverpool’s squad is better equipped to Jurgen Klopp’s system than Brazillian forward Roberto Firmino.
Arrival in England
Signed from Hoffenheim in 2015, Firmino arrived in England as not quite a striker but not quite an attacking midfielder, either.
In his first 17 appearances in the Premier League, Roberto Firmino found the net just once playing in all three attacking positions behind the striker. However, his deployment as a centre forward in the later stages of the 2015/16 campaign saw increase an output.
He scored a further nine times from his next 14 outings to finish the campaign as Liverpool’s top scorer in the Premier League. Despite his prolific end of the season it was his tireless workrate, playmaking qualities and intelligence that won him over in Jurgen Klopp’s eyes, and even inspired UK’s best free bets offer for 2018 on BettingInstitute.co.uk.
The Brazilian made 67 tackles, a tally which registered him as the highest tackling striker in the competition.
Work rate, positioning and movement
His defensive awareness is one of the main reasons why Jurgen Klopp has relied on him as a starting centre forward.
The Brazilian’s workrate is complemented by his immense creativity and positional sense. He was among the Liverpool’s most creative outlet in the 2016/17 campaign with 2.2 key passes pre game.
If you want to be a smart striker or an effective striker, for that matter you need to be making smart runs and have really good movements and Roberto Firmino is incredibly good at this. Making runs is not all about getting yourself in behind for a goalscoring opportunity, it’s also about taking away defenders and opening up space for your teammates.
Firmino always has the team in his mind and he will do a lot of work for the team so Liverpool will have the advantages they need in order to be more effective in the final third of the field.
With two wide goalscoring threats (Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah) ready to drift inside to occupy the centre halfs, Roberto Firmino is free to roam where he choses. He can play on the shoulder of the opposition’s defensive line to threaten their goal, drag defenders out of the position by drifting wide or drop deeper into the midfield to receive a pass.
When Firmino drops deep and is not marked then he has the time to receive a pass, turn and drive his team forward. If the opposition defenders chose to get tight and don’t let him turn they will consequently open up space in behind for Liverpool’s wide attacking threats.
Mohamed Salah has proven to be a beneficiary of Roberto Firmino’s playing style, using the space created centrally to find himself in numerous one on one opportunities so far this season.
Jurgen Klopp has exactly what he wants out of his centre forward with Roberto Firmino, a player with astute positional sense, creativity, work rate and goalscoring abilities.
Firmino is one of a kind, and he is undoubtedly the first player in Liverpool’s starting XI. The completeness of Firmino is extremely difficult to replace.
Written by Rijad Abaza
Follow Rijad on Twitter @RijadAbaza
Like O-Posts on Facebook
You can also follow O-Posts on Twitter @OPosts