April 21, 2021

‘Firmino won’t score 40 goals but he’s a complete forward’ – Sylvinho salutes ‘incredible’ Liverpool star

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The former Brazil international has lauded the efforts of a hard-working striker having been sent on a scouting mission by the Selecao in 2016

Roberto Firmino is not the striker for anyone looking for a 40-goal centre-forward but the Liverpool star is a “complete” frontman, according to former Brazil international Sylvinho.

Those at Anfield are certainly aware of the value in a hard-working forward.

Jurgen Klopp has embraced the qualities of a South American whose footballing philosophy matches his own.

Firmino is happy to let others steal the headlines, with important contributions made to the collective cause on and off the ball.

He is still a useful source of end product, but his game is about much more than merely hitting the net.

Liverpool and Brazil have bought into that skill set, with Sylvinho having been impressed by the Reds star when sent on a scouting mission by Selecao boss Tite in 2016.

The former Arsenal, Barcelona and Manchester City full-back told The Guardian of Firmino: “When I started working with Brazil, Tite sent me to watch Firmino at Burnley and he was incredible.

“You see him play [on TV] and think: ‘Yeah, he’s very good.’ But at the ground? Wow. He does so much. I left there enamoured.

“The ball’s on the other side and you see him move, the generosity with which he links team-mates, how he never lost the ball – that’s incredibly hard in the Premier League.

“If you say ‘I want 40 goals’, maybe he’s not that striker but if you want someone complete, who generates spaces, goes outside, inside… brilliant.”

Firmino has continued to be showered with praise throughout the 2019-20 campaign, with his efforts helping Liverpool to UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup and Premier League crowns.

Reds legend Graeme Souness is among those to have talked up the Brazilian’s talent, telling Sky Sports of an unsung hero: “I love watching Roberto Firmino play. A couple of years ago, I likened him to Kenny Dalglish. He’s like a big cat walking through the jungle waiting for an opportunity to do damage.

“His radar is on all the time and he’s got a great football brain, whereas Salah and Sadio Mane, they will catch your eye more because they are direct and they score more goals.”