Jamie Carragher has spoken to the media today to make some interesting points regarding the transfer of Roberto Firmino – who yesterday arrived at Melwood and trained for the first time.
The legendary defender reckons the excitement surrounding his £29m signing is because of its exotic nature, and the pizzazz of capturing a Brazilian international, when in actual fact nearly all Liverpool fans have never even seen him play.
“Though 95% of Liverpool supporters have never seen Firmino in action — YouTube doesn’t count — they believe he is already on his way to becoming an icon,” Carragher told the Daily Mail, reported in the Echo.
“He comes from Brazil, his style is similar to Luis Suarez’s and his form for Hoffenheim was brilliant, leaving fans saying: ‘Imagine what he’ll be like for us!’
“That is the mystique of buying players from abroad. Firmino could well be another Suarez; he could also be another Alberto Aquilani.
“Contrast that to Benteke, who has become the second-biggest signing in Liverpool’s history after scoring 42 goals in 89 Premier League appearances for Aston Villa, a team that has fought for survival in each of the three years he was there.”
“It has always fascinated me to see the reaction to those who are brought in from foreign leagues compared to when there is a transfer between Premier League clubs. There are no secrets about players in England. We know all there is to know.”
Carragher’s comments perhaps do a slight injustice to our knowledgeable and renowned fan group. In this day and age, where European and international football is widely televised, fans will have got many chances to see Firmino in action – and would have recognised his progress over the past two seasons in Germany.
Obviously though, he makes a valid point in that there is something more intriguing about a potentially world-class signing than a domestic one – where we know exactly what we’re signing.
For us – the excitement is what both Firmino and Benteke can bring to the team at once… The Brazilian, combined with his international team-mate Coutinho and a healthy Adam Lallana can provide guile and creativity in bundles, while we hope the less glamorous Belgian can add goals to their invention.