Roberto Firmino is statistically the most in-form centre-forward in the Premier League so far in 2016.
Stats guys Oulala have the Brazilian attacker just ahead of Chelsea‘s Diego Costa, with the two of them both having six goals and four assists since the turn of the year – but Firmino has played less minutes.
Firmino has directly contributed to 10 of Liverpool’s 19 league goals so far in 2016 – 52% of the Reds’ goals.
The 24-year-old’s goal against Man City on Wednesday night puts him as joint top scorer for the Reds’ this season, with seven goals – level with James Milner, Philippe Coutinho and Christian Benteke.
All Firmino’s goals have been in the league, unlike the others who have scored in cup competitions too. Firmino is one clear of Benteke in the league.
Firmino’s overall record of seven league goals and eight assists, with 11 games remaining, is a good return for his first season in England.
Indeed, it’s even better considering he arrived to the club without pre-season due to Copa America involvement, was used out of position by Brendan Rodgers in his first two months in the country – who can forget him being asked to play as a defensive wide midfielder at Old Trafford – and suffered a broken bone in his back which saw him miss seven games.
Since Jurgen Klopp‘s arrival though, Firmino has been deployed in his favoured central position, operating either as the No.9, or behind the forward.
Speaking after his two goals at Norwich – days after his two goals against Arsenal – Klopp said of Firmino: “Roberto is a striker. He’s a very offensive player.
“A lot of strikers are [5’2?] or [5’6”]-something. Leo Messi, what is he? Let’s discuss about this.
“Firmino can play and score goals and he is for us a good option to play with. He is flexible and in brilliant shape.”
Bizarrely, Firmino has been left out of the Brazil squad for their friendlies at the end of this month – which is fine with us as it means he’ll remain fresh for the Reds’ end of season run-in.
It will be exciting to see how Firmino does next season, with a full pre-season and a year to acclimatise under his belt.