Jurgen Klopp believes that Roberto Firmino has taught Liverpool ‘not to judge players too quickly’.
Firmino, ranked eighth in our list of the Premier League’s top ten attacking midfielders this season, joined the Reds from Hoffenheim for an initial £21million in the summer, and took time to adapt to life at Anfield.
The Brazilian failed to score in his first nine Premier League games, but has improved to become one of the club’s leading players.
Manager Klopp believes Firmino’s progression has proved his early-season doubters wrong, and that he has taught people to “wait to make judgements”.
“It wasn’t a surprise to me when I heard people questioning him. That’s how it is in Germany too,” Klopp said in a Liverpool Echo exclusive.
“You don’t watch too much German football. You get a player from Hoffenheim in Germany and everyone thought: ‘oh, a nice signing Liverpool’.
“But not many people here knew him because he wasn’t from Bayern, he wasn’t from Dortmund.
“I knew about Roberto. When I heard that Liverpool had signed him I thought: ‘how have they done this?’
“Now with Roberto you can see the confidence in his work. All the players are more confident than before because they’ve had more time working together.
“We’ve had an intense time but it’s been a good time together. We know a lot more about each other.
“Watford was the team’s 60th game of the season – that’s unbelievable. For me, it’s only been 49.
“What we can learn from Roberto’s situation going forward when it comes to next season’s signings is wait to make judgements. Don’t be too quick to judge players.”