Who is Roberto Firmino?

Brazilian international Roberto Firmino was confirmed as Liverpool's fifth signing of the off-season for an initial fee of £22million – rising to £29million with add-ons – pending a medical on Wednesday.

While Raheem Sterling remains a Liverpool player for the time being, the general feeling is that he will depart the Reds in the upcoming transfer window, with Manchester City the likely destination.

The deal was wrapped up in double quick time by the Reds after their initial interest in the 23-year-old only became public knowledge late last week.

Firmino is not a direct replacement for the wantaway Reds youngster, but it is expected that the Brazilian will take his place in the Liverpool squad.

Here is how the two players match up:

Just in case

While some Liverpool fans have long since popped the champagne corks celebrating their newest arrival, the former Hoffenheim man may not be too well-known outside of Brazil and Germany. So who is Roberto Firmino?

Roberto Firmino Barbosa de Oliveira was born in Maceio on the Brazilian coast, the same town as legendary player and coach, Mario Zagalo.

He signed for second division team Figueirense as a 17-year-old before Hoffenheim acquired his signature two years later for £4million after being named the best player in the league.

At the German club, he continued his improvement as a player, physically, technically and tactically over the next few years.

In his fourth Bundesliga campaign, in 2013-14, he was named as 'Breakthrough of the Season' after scoring 16 goals in 33 – the third most in the country behind Robert Lewandowski and Marco Reus – from an attacking midfield position. 

The next season was less prolific – he netted on only seven occassion – but continued to be a prolific creator of goal-scoring opportunities: he created most chances in the Bundesliga (138) over the last two seasons and was directly involved in 45 goals in his last 66 outings for the German team. 
 

Just in case

So impressive were his performances, he got a call-up for the Brazil nation team in November last year and has appeared nine times to date, scoring four goals.

A prolific scorer from attacking midfield that "smells of goals" according to Selecao coach Dunga, Firmino has much more to his game than just goals. 

He is technically and tactically incredibly astute and has energy in abundance, which formed a key part of Hoffenheim's pressing game. He is also particularly versatile in terms of positions he can play in – having started as a defensive midfielder, he was played as a attacking midfielder or number 10 for the most part, but has featured as a wide forward or even 'false' nine at various times over the last two years.

Firmino is als particularly durable – he hasnt missed a match through injury in the last two years. 

But enough talk, why don't you decide for yourself if he is a good buy for Liverpool…

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