Jurgen Klopp has praised Liverpool for signing Roberto Firmino so cheaply in 2015, as he believes other clubs would have paid a lot more.
Firmino has been one of Liverpool’s standout players so far this season, scoring five goals and assisting five more in the Premier League.
Klopp believes the £29 million signing from Hoffenheim was a bargain, and was surprised that Liverpool were the side who acquired a player he admired greatly.
The Brazilian forward left the German top flight to join Liverpool in June of 2015, with Klopp having departed Borussia Dortmund a month earlier, but the German manager says he had nothing to do with the signing.
“The first thing I did when I left Dortmund, I took my phone and deleted all the numbers so I was not reachable,” said Klopp.
“I didn’t speak to anyone to offer advice, about Firmino or anyone else.
“Nobody asked me about him but he was a player I thought was one of the best in the Bundesliga.
“So when I saw that Liverpool had signed him I thought, ‘how could Liverpool do this?’
“They were not in their 100 percent best moment and other clubs would have spent more on him, so I thought, immediately, ‘what a good transfer for them.’
“When I heard about it I thought they had made a good signing, because I felt pretty sure clubs would have paid a lot more for him.”
In 2013/14, Firmino was one of the best players in Europe, contributing 16 goals and 11 assists to Hoffenheim’s cause that season.
He formed one of the best partnerships in the league alongside another young attacker Kevin Volland, who is now at Bayer Leverkusen and has 10 caps for Germany to his name.
Despite this Firmino remained somewhat under the radar, and Klopp has praised Liverpool’s scouting team for taking the plunge on a player from one of the lesser-known German sides.
“I can see in the Premier League you cannot have the perfect overview of the Bundesliga, and in the Bundesliga you cannot have the perfect overview of the Premier League,” added the Liverpool manager.
“You can know the Champions League and the players who are top class, but around there are so many good players you cannot know, only if you watch each game at the weekend.
“That is normal, and a lot of people thought, ‘Hoffenheim, where is this? That is a lot of money’.
“In Germany some people don’t know where it is but, if you play your football there, then you feel it is a tough place and so you know what a decent job the scout did, whoever brought him in for that price.”
Firmino has become a key part of this Liverpool side, and will be even more important now his countryman and partner in crime, Philippe Coutinho, faces a spell on the sidelines.