Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce says Roberto Firmino reminds him of Eric Cantona in that the Brazilian has the ability to drift around the pitch and find himself in dangerous positions time after time, rather than being tied to one spot as most number nines are.
The Frenchman is known more now for his crazy speeches like the one he gave during the UEFA Champions League group stage draw which left everyone baffled as to what he was talking about, but at one time was a very good player.
Bruce, of course, played with him at Manchester United, and had a front-row seat to the Firmino show on Saturday afternoon.
He said, via Team Talk: “He’s one that drifts into that little area and he naturally does it, where it’s so difficult for defenders to go. His attitude and work-rate, it’s so important.
“Cantona is as good a player as I’ve ever seen. I haven’t seen Firmino week in, week out like that, but just when you see him here and what he gives them, it’s a perfect balance. And Cantona gave us that.”
Firmino is the best player in England on current form. He will be needed against both Napoli and Chelsea this week as the Reds face a tricky double-header where two wins would go a long way towards setting a tough run of fixtures up nicely.