Roberto Firmino has become the latest signing for Premier League side Liverpool, in a clear attempt to bolster their misfiring and threadbare forward line from last season. The Brazilian international striker is expected to put pen to paper on a five-year deal, with the transfer fee to 1899 Hoffenheim believed to be around £29 million. He should complete the formalities of the deal, subject to a medical at the Anfield club, upon his return from the Copa America. The 23-year-old has been competing for Brazil in the top South American tournament in Chile.

Misfiring Reds last season

Much was made of the lack of firepower from the #Liverpool strikers last season, with the potency of the Luis Suarez - Daniel Sturridge alliance from the season before no longer available to call upon.

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Suarez had moved on to Barcelona, while Sturridge missed much of the season with injury problems. Although recovering from his latest setback, the England international is not expected to be available for selection until after the start of the new campaign, following hip surgery. Brendan Rodgers clearly needed additional options prior to that, so Firmino seems to be a step in the right direction.

Firmino's suitability

Firmino's age suits the profile that the Fenway Sports Group favour in their transfer dealings at present, allowing the potential for growth both in terms of his performances on the pitch and his valuation off it. Liverpool fans will not be as concerned with the balance sheet considerations, but will be keen for the striker to score some much needed goals for the Reds as they look for a Champions League place.

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Record at Hoffenheim

Although his scoring record at the German Bundesliga side Hoffenheim was acceptable, with 47 goals in 151 appearances, the famous club will be hoping that he can follow in the footsteps of the brilliant Suarez and justify his large fee from the outset. There will be a question as to where exactly his abilities are utilised in the side, as he has been used as an attacking midfielder besides as a striker in the past.

Second most expensive Reds' signing

The size of the transfer fee for Firmino will no doubt set high initial expectations on him, given that he will slot into the top three on their all-time list of most expensive signings:

  1. Andy Carroll £35 million
  2. Roberto Firmino £29 million
  3. Adam Lallana £25 million

With the transfer fee exceeding the likes of Fernando Torres (£20.2 million) and Suarez (£22.8 million) it does however indicate the seriousness of Liverpool's intentions this year.

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Will the front players gel?

The club will hope that the Brazilian gels quickly with Sturridge on his return from injury, besides forming an understanding with the likes of compatriot Philippe Coutinho and the highly-rated Lallana. It will also be intriguing to see how the Belgian international Divock Origi fits in to the new-look formation up front, with the expectation that his year-long loan to Lille will come to an end. #Football #Premier League