Kolo Toure was expecting a world-class performance from Roberto Firmino, because he gets to see the Brazilian attacker on the Melwood training ground, the Echo report.
Our blockbuster summer signing Firmino has struggled for consistency since arriving from Germany, but his two-goal salvo versus Arsenal on Wednesday night well and truly marked his arrival.
The 24-year-old opened the scoring with his left-foot before curling in a long range beauty with his right. Only the bar denied him a maiden Premier League hat-trick.
Toure, who played against his former club due to our current injury crisis at centre-back, was full of praise for Firmino.
“He’s a good player,” the defender began. “He’s very technical. He helps the team a lot because he keeps the ball very well. He can run and shoot, he’s a top player.
“I’m not surprised about what he did against Arsenal because he’s been doing that in training every day.
“It’s always difficult when you come into the Premier League. You need time for adaptation. But he’s done well and he’s going to improve, for sure.”
We all thought Firmino had ‘arrived’ back in November, when he played a key role in our 4-1 thrashing of Manchester City – but he’s struggled to reproduce that level since – until the Arsenal draw.
The talent is there in abundance, and he’s hopefully now had long enough to settle into the area and adapt to the serious rigours of English football.
With Daniel Sturridge seemingly never available, Firmino is a certainty to start at centre-forward in the Premier League ahead of Christian Benteke.