How Firmino can go from 'False Nine' to genuine number nine

Published by
09th Aug 2017

As another season of Premier League football edges closer, the anticipation of football fans around the world continues to grow. Liverpool tickets continue to sell out every week with Football Ticket Pad and Reds fans are hoping Jurgen Klopp can finally add some silverware this season with Roberto Firmino starring in a new central role.

The iconic Number 9 shirt on Merseyside worn heavy on many players at LFC in recent seasons. For every Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler and Fernando Torres, there has been a El-Hadji Diouf, Iago Aspas and Christian Benteke who have experienced limited joy in the famous shirt.

However this season Roberto Firmino has stepped up to the mantle having starred in a ‘false 9’ role at Anfield last season after a mixed start to life at the club following his arrival from Hoffenheim two years ago. The Brazilian international has become something of a favourite on the Kop and has flourished under Klopp in a 4-3-3 system. This season he will look to continue his impressive displays and restore the goalscoring prowess which has eluded the Liverpool number nine jersey of late.

Firmino has impressed in a central role having performed in the absence of an injury-prone Daniel Sturridge and the preferred attacking option to Divock Origi after Danny Ings’ season was curtailed once more by a serious knee injury. Klopp turned to Firmino then and he appears to have affirmed his faith in the 25 year-old for 2017/18 and suggest that the deployment of Firmino as a central attacker was no short-term fix having vacated his number 11 jersey for the incoming Mohamed Salah.

It wasn’t long ago when Liverpool could be heard singing about a famous number nine when it was Fernando Torres who set pulses racing on the Anfield turf. ‘Bobby’ Firmino will be hoping to deliver in Liverpool red and buck the trend that has eluded the club of late and have fans singing about their new number nine once again. After netting 23 goals in 90 appearances, the signs are there.

Firmino may be the definitive Klopp player with his work rate, pressing and intelligence. However, to be remembered as a ‘Kop legend he will need to improve on his goal return which saw him net twelve goals last season.

A footballer who has only once recorded a dozen league goals in a campaign, and never more than 16, bears few similarities with the goalscoring records of Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero. However, the prospect of Firmino down the middle with the creative flair of Sadio Mane, Mo Salah or Adam Lallana out wide coupled with the magic of Philippe Coutinho in behind gives plenty food for thought for LFC ticket holders as Klopp continues to adds the final pieces to his jigsaw.

Firmino impressively topped the Reds creative charts last season, which is made all the more surreal by the fact that he doesn’t have any set piece involvement. Despite only registering seven assists, the Brazilian managed to create a total of 76 chances in the Premier League for his teammates last term.

The number on his back should heighten the focus on him. Wear No. 9 and he may be judged as such. But Liverpool fans around the world will be hoping he can restore some joy as well as goals in the symbolic number nine jersey of Liverpool Football Club this season.

Liverpool’s various No. 9s have contributed just seventeen league goals since Torres’ sale to Chelsea six-and-a-half years ago. Only time will tell if Firmino can match that total over the coming months of a gruelling Premier League campaign.

As Anfield waits to see if their new number 9 can deliver, it is still not too late to buy your LFC tickets for the upcoming season. Take a look at some of our amazing offers and book your seats to watch Liverpool today with a 100% money-back guarantee!