As if it wasn’t clear enough already how excited and expectant Reds fans are about the signing of Roberto Firmino from German side Hoffenheim, former Liverpool player (and former team mate of Firmino) Ryan Babel believes that the club’s fans will love him.
The Brazilian has become the club’s second most expensive acquisition and expectations will be high, not just that Firmino will prove worthy of that outlay, but that he is as entertaining as many big signings down the years but Babel is confident he’ll prove his worth to the club.
Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com, Babel said: “He is a tricky player. He can dribble, shoot, he has a great shot, he can play a lot of through balls and his assists are very good.
“He is actually also great at heading, which maybe you wouldn’t think because he’s not that tall, but he’s very good at it.
“He’s the kind of player that likes the ball at his feet and to do nice things with it, but something he learned in Germany was how to work without the ball and defend. I know how important that is in England, what you do without the ball. It was something he had to learn in Germany.
“I’m very happy for him. He’s very talented and now it is down to him. He is the kind of player that can give a lot of joy to Liverpool fans because he’s a very skilful player.”
Firmino has steadily built up a reputation over his short career, impressing over the past few seasons, the last two in particular, and has shown he has the ability to score and create goals for a weaker team. The expectation from Liverpool fans now is that the midfielder can only improve when surrounded by far superior players and he could become one of the star players in the Premier League.
And Babel believes he will more than repay the faith of the fans off the pitch as well. He continued: “I’ve been following Hoffenheim and I’ve seen how well he’s developed and he’s got called up for the Brazilian national team. I’m very proud of him.
“He is a positive player. He is very likeable, he is not arrogant, he has no attitude and is very relaxed. He’s a good lad.
“In the beginning he will watch, learn and soak all of the information up. I think the Liverpool players will like him a lot and he’ll make great friends there.”