German club Hoffenheim, the former employers of Roberto Firmino, have admitted that they had little choice but to sell when Liverpool came knocking with a big-money offer last week.
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The 23-year-old enjoyed a wonderful 2014-15 campaign, scoring ten goals and providing ten assists, helping the club to a highly respectable eighth place finish in the Bundesliga.
However, with Hoffenheim narrowly missing out on a place in the Europa League, a move to a more established club was always likely this summer and Liverpool beat off a host of rival suitors to seal a deal for the exciting starlet.
Hoffenheim have since discussed the transfer at some length. They admitted that while they were disappointed to lose such a valuable player, they were pleased to think that the youngster would be continuing their tradition of nurturing young talent and helping such players move on to bigger and better things.
“Many people at TSG [Hoffenheim] have helped to make Roberto Firmino the player he is today,” explained club official Alexander Rosen on ESPN.
“TSG Hoffenheim needs to make such transfers to ensure the profitability of the club,” he continued. “He is a big loss for our team, but we are convinced that we will have an exciting squad without Roberto.
“The money will not change our transfer plans. We planned our squad long-term and independently of the Firmino transfer. We want players that can take the next step in their careers here and which we can lift onto the next level.”
Hoffenheim do indeed have a number of talented players in their squad, including Firmino’s fellow youngsters Kevin Volland and Jin-Su Kim. We could do a lot worse than building up a working relationship with this impressive club.