Roberto Firmino Liverpool: Comparing £29m transfer addition to Reds’ other attacking midfielders

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On Tuesday morning, Liverpool confirmed the signing of Hoffenheim forward Roberto Firmino.

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The 23-year-old has signed on a long-term deal, according to club’s official website, with Globoesporte reporting earlier in the week that the Reds have tied the player down to a five-year deal.

BBC Sport understand the Merseyside giants have secured their man for £29 million, with the player set for a medical following the Copa America, where Firmino is currently on international duty with Brazil.

As covered in a recent feature, the response of Liverpool fans to the move on social media has been largely positive, with Firmino seen as both a statement of intent and a sign of ambition for the club.

The Brazil international—who managed 35 goals in 145 Bundesliga outings since moving to Germany in 2011—is the kind of player who could become the darling of the Kop, while he may go someway to replacing the offensive impact of Luis Suarez.

However, how does Firmino compare with his teammates and potential rivals for a start in Brendan Rodgers’s starting XI?

Last season, the attacking midfielder managed seven goals in 33 appearances for Hoffenheim, while also contributing 10 assists and creating 69 chances for his teammates.

This is a better return than Firmino’s three key rivals for a starting berth—Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana and Raheem Sterling—although it is worth noting that the Bundesliga is not the same level as the Premier League.

Notably, while Firmino created fewer chances than Sterling, he managed more assists than Sterling’s seven—indicating that be may be an able replacement for the England international should the wantaway youngster’s transfer to Manchester City go through.

While Firmino may need some time to adapt to the EPL, his stats certainly indicate that he can replace the impact of Sterling, who is three years his junior.

There is also evidence that he can manage a greater impact than his compatriot Coutinho.

Despite featuring in fewer matches than the incumbent Reds playmaker, Firmino managed more goals, more assists and more chances created than Coutinho.

Most favourably for the new man, Firmino’s stats are far better than those of Adam Lallana, who arrived from Southampton for a similar fee of £25 million last summer.

The England international had a mixed debut campaign, managing only three assists in the top flight and contributing five goals. While he occasionally played in a deeper role, or in wide positions, the 27-year-old created a disappointing 32 chances for his teammates.

Firmino can certainly improve on this, although Rodgers will also be hoping that Lallana can up his game alongside more talented teammates such as the Brazilian and another summer recruit, James Milner.

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