'Firmino is Liverpool's No. 9, 10 and 8' – Fabinho hails 'complete' forward

The versatile Reds midfielder has saluted the skill set of a fellow Brazilian, with a hard-working frontman considered to fill a number of roles

Roberto Firmino has been saluted as a “complete” forward, with Fabinho admitting that a fellow Brazilian fills the No. 9 berth for Liverpool as well as roles as a creative 10 and combative 8.

The South American star is the leading man in Jurgen Klopp’s fearsome attacking unit.

He has often been deployed as a lone frontman and asked to provide the hard running which allows others around him to flourish.

The 27-year-old has revelled in that position, with 27 goals recorded across all competitions last season.

Another 11 efforts have been added to that tally this term, but his game continues to be about much more than merely end product.

“Firmino is a player who is really good at adapting to different positions. He is a No. 9 but he helps a lot in build-up play,” Fabinho told Liverpool’s official website of a talented countryman.

“He is very important to the team in many stages of the game; he plays as if in the No. 10 role or a No. 8 role, he is a really smart guy who adapts to what the team needs.

“He is great at playing with his back to goal and, like I said, in build-up play and starting attacks. He helps a lot in general teamwork as well as being a top finisher. So, yes, he is a really important player for us.”

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Firmino has been in impressive form over recent weeks, netting five times across as many appearances since grabbing a hat-trick against Arsenal on December 29.

Pressed on whether he can be considered a “complete forward”, Fabinho added: “No doubt about it.

“He is a player who, outside the box, is really smart and he makes the team tick. In the box, his finishing is indisputably good, both with his right foot, left foot and in the air.

“If you look at the four goals he scored against Arsenal and City, you can tell he’s a big-game player. His confidence is sky high and I hope he keeps up this confidence and keeps scoring goals for a long time to come.”

Firmino and Liverpool will not be in action this weekend as they crashed out of the FA Cup at the third-round stage against Wolves.

The Reds will, however, return to Premier League competition on Wednesday when they play host to Leicester in a game which will see them attempt to cement a standing at the top of the table.

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