Firmino in, Sterling out?

Liverpool have confirmed that they have signed 23-year old Roberto Firmino from Hoffenheim for a fee of £29m. But, with his style of play similar to that of Raheem Sterling, where does that leave the English forward?

Sterling has long been wanting a transfer away from Anfield, and Manchester City have put in two bids of up to £50m, but both have been rejected. Now, Chelsea have also shown an interest, but Jose Mourinho has stated he wouldn’t pay any more than £40m for the England star.

However, with the arrival of Firmino, a player who suits the role that Sterling took up last season, a third and final bid from Manchester City could be made, with Sterling leaving before the end of next week.

Liverpool have already added to their frontline this summer with the arrival of Danny Ings from Burnley, and with Coutinho relishing his first-team football, Sterling may no longer find a place in Brendan Rodgers plans.

Liverpool's signings so far
Liverpool make Firmino their fifth summer signing (Sky Sports)

Firmino, who is currently with his Brazilian teammates at the Copa America, has been much of a revelation in the German league last season, and has scored 48 goals in 158 appearances for Hoffenheim since joining as a 19-year old for just over £3.5m.

He also scored in Brazil’s 2-1 Copa America victory over Venezuela on Sunday. But, it remains to be seen how the small built winger fares in the English Premier League, known for its toughness.

But, if he carries his form over from the Bundesliga, then he should have no problems fitting into a side that is still searching for a replacement for Luis Suarez who left for Barcelona last summer.

Firmino form v Liverpool players
Firmino’s stats compared to current Liverpool attacking midfielders (Sky Sports)

What does this mean for Sterling? Mainly, that he has one foot in the door of Manchester City’s new training facilities, and that only a medical is required to help his other one get over the line.

City are already readying a further bid for the player, and with Chelsea’s interest becoming known this week, that should be made sooner rather than later, that is, unless one has already been made.

Liverpool seem to be spending the money from the sale already, and will continue to develop their squad in the coming months. How much will they spend in total? A lot more than they will gain from Sterling’s departure, I’m sure about that.


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