Never heard of Roberto Firmino? Know all about him? Either way, we got you covered Liverpool fans!

Hello, Liverpool FC fans! Welcome to Bundesliga Fanatic!

Having noted some of the search terms that have been bringing traffic to our site the last several hours, it occurred to me that we are in dire need of some new Roberto Firmino-oriented content and FAST!

I thought the easiest way to address this sudden thirst for more English-language Firmino information would be to scan Twitter to see what sort of questions people are asking about him that go beyond the stats that can be easily found through any of a number of sites.

What I didn’t expect to find was that most of the tweets about Firmino from excited Liverpool fans was that the vast majority of them are made by folks who seem to already have been keeping an eye on Firmino, whether through some sense they’d eventually attempt to sign him or just because TSG 1899 Hoffenheim is incredibly popular in that part of the world.

Either way, there do appear to be some folk who remain somewhat in the dark about the man reportedly about to make an expensive move from Sinsheim to one of the most-storied addresses in the game. I’ll do what I can for them, as well as for those who might be looking to impress their fellow LFC-fan friends with opinions on the club’s latest acquisition.

I suppose it could also apply to those of you who believe that somehow the deal will fall through, allowing your own club to swoop in and snag him. It wasn’t that long ago that Firmino was headed to Manchester United, eh?

So here we go!

Right now, he’s like any other high-priced transfer in the summer before he debuts: a vessel for your wildest hopes and dreams.

Also, he’s like the sort of guy with a neck tattoo who’d wear a swank jacket to a Christmas party.

You could try to pull that jacket off . . . if you were as cool as Roberto Firmino.

Otherwise, he’s a Brazilian footballer who stayed under the radar for a long time, but has since gained a spot in his national team and shown he can be among the best in one of the world’s top leagues.

i.e. “not bad”

Maybe a little, especially if you’ve not actually watched Hoffenheim a bit over the last two seasons. You never know for sure how such a move will pan out, but the money means Liverpool are expecting big things. As good as he was in 2013-14, he wasn’t good enough to make Hoffenheim more than a mid-table side, largely due to a porous defense. As in any team-sport situation, the success of any one player will be semi-dependent on his surroundings.

Then again, everyone can look awesome in a highlights package?

Murphy here had my first favorite Firmino tweet of the day because it reminded me of a video in which a man interviewed Chelsea fans about their opinions on fictional players he would say are rumored transfer signings. So many people spoke knowledgeably about players that didn’t exist, a viewer would have to begin to think they were all in on the joke, except then you’d have to say there are some remarkable actors available for such a stunt.

But, yeah Murphy, 29 million does seem a lot, especially for a guy you hadn’t heard of before last night. Considering that sum would place the transaction as the most-expensive in Bundesliga history, your reaction is pretty well spot-on.

That said, it’s neither Liverpool’s nor Hoffenheim’s fault you’d not heard of him. The fact is that Roberto Firmino is a damned good player just now emerging to wider notice. He had long been an unknown in Brazil, only recently getting calls to play for his country. All he had to to do get the attention of his home federation was put himself in the conversation of best players in the Bundesliga.

Firmino was legitimately a candidate for “player of the year” honors two seasons ago. He actually finished third in our own Top 25 list for 2013-14. The drop in production in 2014-15 led Firmino to be left off our list this year, but some of that can be attributed to coach Markus Gisdol attempting to improve the league’s worst defense, which can have a tendency to revoke some of the free-flowing nature that plays so well into Firmino’s strengths.

https://twitter.com/33mellor33/status/613576397081182208

No need to hope, Liam. Roberto Firmino is much better than Fred in almost every measurable way. I guarantee it.

Though, not money-wise. I don’t have that kind of coin.

How about, if Firmino turns out to be somehow < than Fred, I’ll send you a beer and/or some bit of Seattle Sounders FC paraphernalia. Deal?

https://twitter.com/xaydworld/status/613576309399289856

Yeah, johncouch10! Why ARE “u” worried about that?

First, a quick bit of research tells me that only 27 players in the top English league scored more than seven goals last season. Considering the longer season, odds are good all 27 played more than 33, yeah?

Okay, but you’re not hoping for a top 26 guy with that kind of cash, yeah? I hear you, so I dug a little further.

You apparently have a guy in England named Saido Berahino. Ever heard of him? Well, he had 14 goals last season, which had him tied for sixth most in the league. The season prior? He had just five in 32 games!

I know!

But none of that really matters, does it johncouch10? Goals scored can be a poor measure of a player’s overall value, yeah? (If you don’t agree, you probably shouldn’t be reading this anyhow.) Hence, let me finally get you the low-down.

https://vine.co/v/e5iIjuBlOzi

Firmino provides some positional flexibility. Though he is necessarily an attacker, he can do his thing effectively from an attacking-mid slot, the flank, or as a secondary striker. Firmino can score, no question, but his real value comes in how he stirs the drink, so to speak. In addition to those seven goals, Firmino assisted on ten more. He runs very fast through defenses, while also seeing the field quite well and using a decent passing touch to spread the love around in an attack that has featured plenty of other talent in guys like Kevin Volland, Sven Schipplock, and Anthony Modeste.

Yeah, if LFC were signing Firmino as strictly as goal-scorer, they’d be making a mistake, but I think we should all assume they’ve watched him play a bit more than you have, Mr. johncouch!

 

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Randall Hauk is a freelance writer living in the United States while covering German football. He is currently the publisher of Planet Effzeh, an English-language site covering 1. FC Köln. He wrote about the German national team for the Telegraph as part of their World Cup Nation coverage.