Liverpool completed the £29m signing of Roberto Firmino from Hoffenheim earlier this week. The 23 year old Brazilian is set to undergo his medical after Copa America and finalise his move to Merseyside.
The charismatic Brazilian has been turning heads around Europe for the last two years and has been linked with moves to Chelsea and Manchester United.
The Hoffenheim attacker has had two outstanding seasons back to back and is now ready to take the next step and win trophies in England.
£29m does seem like an awful lot of money for someone who has yet to prove himself in the Champions League. However, his performances in Copa America and against the likes of Dortmund and Bayern have shown that he is ready to make his mark at every stage against the best teams.
While one could argue that an attacking midfielder was never a priority for Liverpool, it is beyond doubt that Firmino addition will improve the side massively.
Creativity in final third
Liverpool have desperately lacked some creativity in the final third last season. The departure of Luis Suarez and injury to Sturridge meant that all the attacking responsibilities were now down to Coutinho.
Despite having a great season overall, Coutinho often found himself isolated with too much to do as Liverpool struggled to create.
Firmino coming in will allow Coutinho to play further deep (just as he likes).
At Liverpool, Luis Suarez played the part of the ball carrier in final third and took over from Coutinho near the box, where he fancied his chances or went for the final pass. Firmino is set to take up that role of a secondary creator.
Firmino’s vision, flair, technique and pressing in the final third is somewhat similar to that of Luis Suarez and will help lessen the creative burden of Philippe Coutinho.
When Suarez left, Liverpool failed to bring someone in who could create as well as score. In Suarez, they not only lost a player who was the best goalscorer in England, but the second best chance creator after Eden Hazard too.
Firmino has contributed to 45 goals in his last 66 appearances (goals and assists). His instinctive movement and finishing ability adds a considerable number of goals to his games, along with all the flair and technique he possesses.
Firmino could play off the main striker in a free role and contribute as a goalscoring number 10.
Bring back the pressing
Every Liverpool fan wants Brendan Rodgers to bring back his relentless pressing game that turned the Reds into a fearsome unit in 2013-14. However, with the likes of Balotelli and Lambert leading the line last season, pressing from the front did not quite work for Liverpool.
Firmino is an excellent tactical presser and will help Liverpool press from the front and play on the counter. There is an abundance of pace and flair in the Liverpool lineup which is tailor made for counter attacking football and Firmino could be key to unlocking that.
All in all, it looks like a fantastic signing for Liverpool and a massive statement of intent from the club. Safe to say Liverpool have started the window very well with the acquisition of Milner, Ings, Firmino and Clyne.
However it is essential that Liverpool address their main priority and sign a striker before the window closes.