But statistics show the Brazilian would be a great replacement if Sterling does leave this summer.
But with reports suggesting City could soon make an improved bid for the 20-year-old, there is every chance the wantaway Sterling could leave Anfield this summer.
Luckily, the Reds have a fine replacement waiting in the wings in Firmino.
Statistics, via WhoScored, indicate that he is worth every penny.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) June 23, 2015
In 2014/15, Sterling made 35 Premier League appearances, while Firmino played in 33 Bundesliga games.
Both scored seven goals, but Firmino made three more assists than his English counterpart, with 10 overall.
He is a more consistent threat on goal, with just 30.7 minutes per shot on average, compared to Sterling’s 36.3 minutes—although this does suggest his conversion rate is lower.
Firmino is also a more prolific dribbler, making a dribble every 21 minutes on average.
Sterling beat his opponent every 29.6 minutes.
Crucially, given Liverpool‘s defend-from-the-front style, Firmino’s rate of just 33.2 minutes per tackle, compared to Sterling’s 82.5 minutes, shows that he will fit in well under Brendan Rodgers.
The only area covered by WhoScored in which Sterling triumphs over Firmino is in terms of chances created.
Sterling made a key pass every 40.7 minutes compared to Firmino rate of one every 42.9 minutes.
But the difference is fairly slim, and with the Brazilian comparing well to the masterfully creative Kevin de Bruyne of VfL Wolfsburg last season, he is far from poor in this respect:
Roberto Firmino: Only Kevin De Bruyne (74) played more key passes from open play in the Bundesliga last season than Firmino (69)
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) June 23, 2015
Goal.com have also released a useful stat pack, showcasing Firmino’s talents in the 2014/15 Bundesliga season and compared to Sterling.
If Sterling is to leave Liverpool this summer, Firmino will be a fine replacement.