Jurgen Klopp has thanked his scouting department at Liverpool for securing Roberto Firmino, saying they did so at a discount.
Firmino was the second most expensive signing in Liverpool’s history at the time of his move from the Bundesliga but Klopp believes the 25-year-old was undervalued. Firmino has emerged as a key player for Klopp’s pressing style and has scored six goals for Liverpool this season.
Firmino signed for Liverpool before Klopp’s arrival, when the German was on sabbatical following his departure from Borussia Dortmund.
“When I saw that Liverpool had signed him I thought, ‘How could Liverpool do this?’ They were not in their 100% best moment and other clubs would have spent more on him, so I thought, immediately, ‘What a good transfer for them.’
“When I heard about it I thought they had made a good signing, because I felt pretty sure clubs would have paid a lot more for him,” Klopp said.
“A lot of people thought, ‘Hoffenheim, where is this? That is a lot of money’.
“In Germany some people don’t know where it is but, if you play your football there, then you feel it is a tough place and so you know what a decent job the scout did, whoever brought him in for that price.”
Firmino might not get the wider credit he deserves but he’s certainly appreciated by his Liverpool team-mates and supporters.
“He is happy so he doesn’t care about getting more credit or recognition.
“Of course he is very important because he can play all three positions in our system, and in our system I’m sure he could play as the No 8 too, like Gini (Wijnaldum), like Phil (Coutinho), like Emre (Can).
“He is different, but he can play there. He is a very important player, a connecting player, a finisher, a fighter, a defender, the first defender – that is important. A lot of things he is good at are very important for us.
“He’s still a good listener, and a good trainer. He likes to train, he likes to learn so that is excellent, a nice package.”