Roberto Firmino's outstanding work-rate lifts the Liverpool No.9's natural footballing talents up to another level, according to Georginio Wijnaldum.
The Brazil international agreed terms on a new contract with the Reds on Sunday to commit his peak years to the club he joined from Hoffenheim back in the summer of 2015.
His prodigious energy supplies and enthusiasm for the defensive aspects of the game have been on show ever since he swapped the Bundesliga for the Premier League.
But this term, Firmino has upped the ante at the other end. A career-best haul of 27 goals so far in 2017-18 ranks the forward among the finest marksmen in the country and, indeed, Europe.
“He has something extra,” Wijnaldum, a teammate of ‘Bobby’ for two seasons now, told Liverpoolfc.com.
“He scores goals but he is like an extra defender – he is always making it difficult for players when they have the ball. They never see him coming. He takes the ball from behind.
“When you play against him you always have to be aware that he can be somewhere, you never know where he is. That doesn’t give you a comfortable feeling when you have the ball. And that’s a good thing for us.”
Firmino declared the decision to prolong his Anfield stay ‘easy’.
With Liverpool one game away from a Champions League final appearance, and on course to secure a place in the tournament again next season, you can understand why.
And Wijnaldum revealed the sight of fellow players proving their commitment to the cause generates added positivity in an already thriving group.
“Bobby is a really important player for us,” said the midfielder.
“It’s a good sign from the club, that we want to keep players together, and also a good sign from him; he wants to stay at Liverpool, he wants to build something with Liverpool.”