Liverpool winger Harvey Elliott has admitted that Roberto Firmino is a ‘joke’ of a player and impressed him the most following his move to the club from Fulham.

Elliott says Firmino’s ability on the ball is a ‘joke’ as it is impossible to dispossess him. He adds that the other Brazilian players in the squad, Fabinho and Alisson, are also superb on the ball.

Speaking on the Counter Attack Podcast, as transcribed by the Liverpool Echo, Elliott was asked who caught his eye in first-team training upon joining the club. “Which one impressed me the most? (Roberto) Firmino. When he is on the ball, you can’t get it off him. He is a joke.

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“It’s a Brazilian thing. They are all technically so good, Fabinho and even Alisson whenever they are on the ball.

“Everyone has their different qualities and you can see why they are one of the best teams in the world. They have talent and skill and all work 100%.”

ANFIELD WATCH VERDICT 

Firmino’s struggles in front of goal have been well-documented this season, but something that he has never lost has been his ability on the ball. The Brazilian is underperforming his Expected Goals for the third season in-a-row in the Premier League and he has only scored six times this season in all competitions. However, he has averaged 1.1 key passes and 1.7 dribbles per game in the league, which is in line with what he has managed throughout his time at Liverpool.

The Brazilian has also averaged an impressive WhoScored rating of 7.05 across 31 Premier League games, showing that he offers more than just goals. For his rating to be so high despite his lack of direct goal contributions shows that his all-round game is effective, which ties in with Elliott’s point about his ability in possession. Firmino is excellent at picking up the ball in pockets of space and either cleverly flicking the ball to a teammate or taking it on himself and committing defenders by beating them with a dribble move.

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