One particular statistic suggests things have really clicked for Roberto Firmino this season.
Firmino has been in incredible form so far and has picked up five assists, with three in the Premier League and two in the Super Cup. To put that in perspective, the Brazilian finished last season with seven in all competitions.
It suggests that Firmino has clicked with the rest of his teammates. Honestly, this is something that most already picked up on – but the stats back it up perfectly.
Firmino has been brilliant for a few years now and earned the plaudits. He’s become the most ‘underrated’ player in the world but only in the sense that everyone agrees he’s underrated.
In reality, everyone sees his importance and has for some time. Defensively, he’s probably the best forward in the world, while he’s currently the most valuable ‘false 9’ around.
And it’s the assists that make the latter true. He doesn’t need to score regularly – Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah do that – but he does need to create space for others, to find them in tight spaces, and to be the playmaker.
Firmino is doing that at a new level this season, as the assist statistic shows, beyond what we’ve seen since his £29m move. He’s playing better than ever, having truly clicked with Mane and Salah in particular.
Who knows how many he’ll have at the end of the season?