LFC done deal: ‘Signing involved in more goals than Sterling’

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first_imgFootball statistics WhoScored cast their expert eye over an exciting Liverpool signing. For more stats on the Reds, check out WhoScored.com’s Liverpool page.After landing James Milner and Danny Ings, Liverpool finally made the marquee signing fans have been craving when they announced the £29m acquisition of Roberto Firmino early on Wednesday morning.The young Brazilian attacker is currently on international duty with the Seleção at the Copa America as the Brazil national team looks to land their ninth Copa America title.It was his league performances for Hoffenheim in recent seasons, however, that convinced Liverpool to make him the second most expensive player in their illustrious history. Only Arjen Robben (8.47) and Kevin De Bruyne (7.95) gained better WhoScored.com ratings than Firmino (7.79) in the Bundesliga last season, in what was a thoroughly commendable campaign for the 23-year-old.Firmino is clearly viewed as a replacement for Raheem Sterling, who is being linked with a move for Premier League title contenders Manchester City, but the Brazilian is certainly a player who could outdo the previous exploits of the young Englishman. Over the last two Bundesliga seasons, only Robert Lewandowski (48) and Thomas Müller (46) have been directly involved in more goals than Firmino (44). Given the former Figueirense trainee plied his trade for perennial Europa League contenders Hoffenheim, it’s a notable return from the youngster. Comparatively over that same period, Sterling was directly involved in 28 league goals for Liverpool.It isn’t just Firmino’s creative ability that stands him in good stead either, with his dribbling – a statistically calculated WhoScored.com strength of his – a particular highlight. Indeed, only Karim Bellerabi (153) completed more successful dribbles in Germany’s top tier last term than Firmino (140).When given the time and space to run into with the ball at his feet, the youthful attacker is difficult to stop, especially once he gains a head a steam. However, unlike a number of players who are good with the ball at their feet yet lack the final pass, there is an end product to Firmino’s game.Only De Bruyne (20) and Zlatko Junuzovic (12) registered more assists in the Bundesliga last season than Firmino (10). Meanwhile, only De Bruyne (74) played more key passes from open play than the Brazilian (69) in the top division of German football over the 2014/15 campaign.If Liverpool can sufficiently strengthen their frontline this summer – links with Carlos Bacca and Salomón Rondón suggest this is high on the list of the Reds’ priorities – and get Daniel Sturridge fully fit and firing on all cylinders, the goals could flow freely once again at Anfield, especially if Firmino can hit the ground running in England.In any Brendan Rodgers team, though, he prefers his offensive players to defend from the front, helping to catch the opposition out and spring surprise attacks in the process. Firmino is capable of doing just this.Only Bellerabi (33) won possession more times in the attacking third in the Bundesliga last season than Firmino (28), accentuating his statistically calculated WhoScored.com strength of ‘defensive contribution’. Compared to Liverpool players, only Sterling (29) did so on more occasions in the league last term than the Reds’ new acquisition.Either way, Liverpool have got themselves a real gem of a player in Firmino. He may have cost a pretty penny to land, but is widely regarded as one of the finest young attackers in Europe. If he can help fire the Merseysiders back to the Champions League, the £29m spent to secure his services could yet look a real steal.For more stats on Liverpool’s new signing Roberto Firmino, click here to view his WhoScored.com player page 1 Roberto Firmino last_img

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