Roberto Firmino’s blend of goalscoring prowess and selflessness marks him out as a ‘special’ talent.
That’s according to a man who displayed similar attributes during his own Anfield career: Dirk Kuyt.
A clever late strike during Saturday’s 3-0 win over AFC Bournemouth took Firmino’s goal tally for the season so far to 25, meaning 2017-18 already represents the most prolific campaign of the Liverpool No.9’s career to date.
His 47 appearances across all competitions this term have also yielded 14 assists, and former Reds forward Kuyt is a huge fan of the Brazilian - particularly his willingness to prioritise collective success over personal glory.
“He has his own style and that makes him special,” the ex-Netherlands international told Liverpoolfc.com.
“That’s what I like in players. A typical goalscorer or different kind of striker, you see that a lot in Europe, but Firmino has his own style and he has his own speciality; he is scoring great goals but also feeding the players around him.
“He’s a great goalscorer but he’s also a team player in everything he does. I don’t know him quite well, but if I see him playing then he just wants to win with the team and he’s not the type of player who wants to score for himself. That, for me, is the biggest thing of Firmino.
“He’s scoring great goals but he’s also giving great assists and then you are, in my eyes, a complete player who is a great thing for Liverpool.
“I think he’s also a very hard worker, he’s selfless and working hard. I watch almost all the games and the games I see then he’s always giving his everything. Sometimes he’s not scoring goals or giving assists, but for one thing he is always giving his everything.”
Mohamed Salah also reached a goalscoring landmark as Bournemouth were beaten at the weekend, with the No.11 becoming only the third player in Liverpool’s rich history to hit the 40-goal mark in a season.
But, similarly to Firmino, Kuyt believes Salah will be motivated more by helping the team accomplish their targets than individual accolades.
“Mo Salah, I think he’s having a great season. I think Firmino’s having a great season and the team is doing quite well, especially over the last couple of months. But at the end of the day, these are individual achievements and the next step for them will be to have a team achievement,” he continued.
“The only thing then that matters is to win trophies and I think, from what I can see from these kind of players, they are desperate to win trophies as a team, not as an individual.
“As an individual, players like Firmino and Mo Salah are showing that they are doing really well, but now they want to achieve it as a team. That’s the next step and who knows, maybe they can do it in the Champions League.”
Join Jürgen Klopp, the first team, Ladies and Academy players at the 2018 LFC Players’ Awards at Anfield on Thursday May 10. Click here for more details.