Liverpool youngster Layton Stewart has claimed that he’s learnt so much from the departing Roberto Firmino at Anfield.
Firmino is due to leave the Reds in a matter of weeks, after eight wonderful years at the club. His exit will be felt deeply by everyone connected with Liverpool. But judging from his comments this week, few will be hit as hard as 20-year-old Stewart. Speaking to GOAL, the young striker admitted that he simply loves Bobby.
“I speak to Bobby a lot, actually. I absolutely love him. He messages me on Instagram after a game saying ‘well done’ and things like that, which means a lot to a young player,” he said. “I had a photo shoot recently and he was messaging after it.”
Stewart also gave an insight into what it’s like to train with Liverpool’s No.9.
“We got on well over in Dubai [at Liverpool’s World Cup training camp],” he claimed. “We were doing a lot of pressing drills, and he’s the king of it really, isn’t he, so I was always asking him for little tips and watching how he did it.
“He’s changed the way a Liverpool No.9 plays, and that’s something every young striker has to be aware of now. It’s not just about the glory, scoring goals, you have to do the other side of the game as well. He’s been the best in the business at it for years.”
Firmino provides perfect role model
What better player for a young striker to learn from than Bobby Firmino. Not only is the Brazilian so supremely gifted as a footballer, but he’s also just a lovely bloke.
In an age where money rules football more than ever before, Firmino is about as down to earth as it gets.
A quiet man with a natural flamboyance, the £29m man embodies the simple joy of playing the game. Firmino will be remembered for a lot at Liverpool. He’s scored plenty of goals and collected a number of trophies. He played in one of the best Premier League front three’s of all time.
But even more than that, the 31-year-old will be remembered for his personality. Firmino has virtually never without a beaming smile on his face since 2015.
As Stewart suggests, he’s the absolute perfect role model for what a striker and a professional should be.
Having lost Sadio Mane last summer, Liverpool fans are now used to the idea that their legendary triumvirate of Mane-Salah-Firmino is no more. But Bobby’s departure this time is going to sting even more. Soak it all in Layton, because there’s not long left.