Former Liverpool boss Roy Evans has expressed confidence that Roberto Firmino can be a good addition for the Reds, but has warned the club’s fans that there are no guarantees the forward will take to the Premier League.
The Brazil forward has been well-received by Liverpool supporters since the club confirmed his £29 million signing from Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim [Express].
The 23-year-old enjoyed a wonderful reputation in Germany—where he featured in the top three assists-makers in the top flight for the last two seasons—and comes to Anfield accompanied by high expectations.
The club also fended off interest from Manchester United to recruit the Brazil international, making an ambitious move which could be seen as a statement of intent for the coming campaign [International Business Times].
Following a disappointing 2014-15 season—compounded by the departure of Steven Gerrard and the ongoing contractual/transfer saga with Raheem Sterling [Standard]—it was imperative that Brendan Rodgers brought optimism back to Anfield.
While Evans—who played for Liverpool for nine years before managing the Reds between 1994 and 1998—is quietly confident that Firmino will impress, he has also struck a note of caution in a recent interview with the club’s official website.
“I’m quite excited, myself! He seems to have a really good record, scores goals and does a good job from midfield so I’m really pleased.
“You never know until they actually turn up at the club – that’s the hard part of the management side.
“You can go and watch them as many times as you like but, until they turn up and join in the sessions, you don’t know which way it’s going to go.
“But he seems to have all the qualities that are needed to make a good player for Liverpool.”
The 66-year-old continued, likening the South American to Uruguay forward Luis Suarez, who left the club to sign for Barcelona in the summer of 2014.
Like Suarez—who was signed from Ajax—Firmino has made his name in another European league before sealing a move to the EPL.
“I think that’s a big plus as well,” Evans went on, when asked about the importance of Firmino establishing himself in Germany before making the move to England.
“When we bought Luis Suarez he had been in Holland and played there and I think that gives you a real start, even with the culture side of things.
“If he’s anywhere near as good as Luis Suarez, I think we’ve got a great buy.
“If you’re a great player you can come and adapt to whichever club you come to. Liverpool is a great club, he’ll have understood that and done his homework.”
Rodgers will be hoping that Firmino can go some way to replacing the goals of the departed Suarez, something that the combined flops of Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini wholly failed to do last term.