This isn’t one of those ’10 Things You Need To Know About Roberto Firmino’ articles that have flooded the internet in the past 24 hours, and nor is it an attempt to try and second-guess where he’ll fit into the Liverpool team based on a few YouTube clips or a Vine of some fancy footwork.
This writer, like a lot of you, might catch the odd German game on TV or marvel at Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich in the Champions League, but expert Bundesliga opinion is best left to those such as Unibet’s own Raphael Honigstein – a genuine authority on German football and on facial hair.
He has pointed out the 23-year-old Firmino’s qualities in the past – and it is clear that the Brazilian has a lot of them and will be an eye-catching addition to the Premier League – but it isn’t so much what he’ll do on the pitch which matters for Liverpool right now, it’s what he represents off it.
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Cast your mind back to last summer, and the list of Liverpool signings which now reads like a who’s who of the rogues’ gallery.
Of that oft-discussed £117m bundle of ‘talent’ no-one, not one player, seemed to arrive at Anfield having had the serious opportunity to go elsewhere. In the case of Mario Balotelli, that turned out to be for good reason.
The free transfer signings of James Milner and Danny Ings have somewhat changed that this summer but they were still, well, James Milner and Danny Ings. Any sense of celebration at their captures was mooted because we know too much of their back story. One is from Wortley in Leeds and the other is from Winchester in Hampshire. It doesn’t exactly scream sexy.
What did, though, was the attempted signings of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona last summer and Memphis Depay from PSV Eindhoven this.
These were two players who cost a lot in transfer fees and wages, but will also ensure that the seats in your stadium would last a few more years because fans would only ever need the edges of them.
Arsenal and Manchester United pounced to leave Liverpool frustrated, with the pair joining Willian, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Diego Costa and countless others on a list of missed targets which seemed destined to grow longer.
Is Firmino worth all the fuss? It remains to be seen, but United supporters certainly seemed convinced he was something special when they were busy sharing his best moments across social media three weeks ago, back when he looked certain to be signing for them.
Gradually, though, the Twitter avatars which feature the Red Devil were morphing into ones with a Liver Bird on, and opinions on a player were altering worldwide simply based on what shade of red he’ll be wearing in the coming season.
That it’ll be Liverpool red means that Liverpool have won a battle, however many renditions of ‘well we didn’t even want him anyway’ they might hear from the other side of M62.
Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers have won a big bucks race for a gifted player, and that should give all three parties a valuable boost at a time when winning another one could suddenly set them up pretty nicely for the start of the season.
There need to be a few more outs than ins, of course, but a recognised forward in the mould of apparent targets Carlos Bacca and Salomon Rondon would suddenly make things look all the sweeter.
And if they are snatched from the apparent clutches of a wounded rival, then all the better.
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