Firmino a bargain for Reds at £29m

Jurgen Klopp credits Liverpool's scouts for securing Roberto Firmino at what he perceives as a cut-price fee, as other clubs would have paid more.
Jurgen Klopp credits Liverpool's scouts for securing Roberto Firmino at what he perceives as a cut-price fee, as other clubs would have paid more.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Jurgen Klopp has credited Liverpool's scouting department with securing a cut-price deal for Roberto Firmino when they signed the Brazil striker for £29 million (S$52 million) from Hoffenheim last year.

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.

The Brazilian has emerged as a key player for Klopp's pressing style and has scored six goals for Liverpool in all competitions this season.

The former Borussia Dortmund coach was on sabbatical when Firmino joined Liverpool in the summer last year and has said no club consulted him over the Brazilian.

Klopp explained: "The first thing I did when I left Dortmund, I took my phone and deleted all the numbers so I was not reachable. So I didn't speak to anyone to offer advice, about Firmino or anyone else.

"Nobody asked me about him but he was a player I thought was one of the best in the Bundesliga. So when I saw that Liverpool had signed him I thought, 'How could Liverpool do this?'

"They were not in their 100 per cent 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."

And credit for signing Firmino, he says, rests entirely with Liverpool's scouts.

He added: "I can see in the Premier League you cannot have the perfect overview of the Bundesliga, and in the Bundesliga you cannot have the perfect overview of the Premier League...

"So you know what a decent job the scout did, whoever brought him in for that price."

Klopp will be hoping that Firmino, who has five goals and three assists in 13 league games, will continue his good form against West Ham at Anfield tomorrow.

THE GUARDIAN

LIVERPOOL V WEST HAM

Singtel TV Ch102 & StarHub Ch227, Monday, 1.30am

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 10, 2016, with the headline 'Firmino a bargain for Reds at £29m'. Print Edition | Subscribe