TalkSPORT radio host Adam Catterall has lauded Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino and has compared the Brazilian’s influence on the team to that of Premier League winning-duo Eric Cantona and Dennis Bergkamp.
Firmino, 28, has been the subject of much debate after Danny Murphy described the forward as ‘replaceable’ and even picked out Kylian Mbappe as a potential successor should Firmino ever leave Anfield.
The former Hoffenheim star is one of Jurgen Klopp’s most trusted lieutenants since his £29m [BBC Sport] arrival from the Bundesliga in 2015. Firmino has featured more than any other Liverpool player since the German manager took charge at the club in 2015.
Firmino has clocked up 228 appearances for the European champions boasting an impressive tally of 76 goals and 59 assists. Currently embarking on his fifth season on Merseyside, the Brazil international is on course to claim his first Premier League title.
With 10 goals and 12 assists in 36 appearances this team, Firmino has continued to showcase his value to the team and talkSPORT radio host has touted the Reds’ No.9 as ‘irreplaceable’ and even made a bold comparison to two of the Premier League’s all-time greats.
“This guy is the best Brazilian to grace us in the Premier League,” he declared on the Drive show.
“No question about it, he is absolutely outrageously good.
“In this front three for Liverpool, don’t get me wrong they have some wonderful players, I think Sadio Mane is exceptional at this moment in time, Salah has been exceptional – I think he has dipped a touch, but Firmino is the glue that keeps it all together.
“He is the most important in that front three. I think the other two are replaceable.
“Don’t get me wrong, Liverpool don’t want to replace them and neither should they.
“Firmino is irreplaceable. There’s not another player on the planet right now that can do what he does. He’s that good.”
“Bergkamp was exceptional. Eric Cantona, I think I’ve been on the record in the past saying he’s one of the most important players that ever graced the Premier League. But their importance on their sides at their particular times at Arsenal and Manchester United respectively, Firmino is that for Liverpool. That’s how important he is.
“Liverpool fans will tell me Van Dijk is the most important player and you can probably go along with that but as an attacking force, just the way that he is so aware of where he is on the pitch and where he is and where his teammates are, and he can find them and he can score. He’s just unbelievable that lad.”
Look at @DarrenBent here trying to whizz me under the bus bringing up Bergkamp 😳
I stand by my opinion on Bobby though. Outrageous player! https://t.co/iGspV1f25H
— Adam Catterall (@AdamCatterall) February 11, 2020
What RTK has to say
Talk about some praise for the Ballon d’Or nominee who has 56 Premier League goals in 162 appearances for Liverpool, averaging roughly one-goal every three games, while also adding 34 assists.
It’s unquestionably a big claim considering Bergkamp and Cantona have won a combined seven titles between them with Firmino still waiting to claim his first.
However, Firmino has proven to be one of the club’s most transformative signings since his arrival nearly six years ago. He was the first marque signing under FSG that showcased Liverpool’s ability to identify hidden gems across Europe and was the first major coup orchestrated by sporting director Michael Edwards.
Initially signed under former manager Brendan Rodgers, Firmino was utilised poorly by the current Leicester City boss. The Champions League-winning forward was even deployed as a wing-back before Klopp transformed him into attacking sensation he is today.
Liverpool fans would argue he is perhaps the most indispensable member of Liverpool’s attacking triumvirate. Imagining a front-three without him seems nearly impossible considering the impact Firmino has had on the team and he is deservedly getting the plaudits that merit such an outstanding talent.