'Firmino is an absolute genius' - Gerrard salutes selfless Liverpool striker

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The Reds legend believes the Brazilian forward is a key component in a side which can be considered better than any he played in at Anfield

Roberto Firmino has been branded “an absolute genius” by Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, with the Brazilian forward considered to be a key figure for Jurgen Klopp.

Eyebrows were raised when the Reds invested £29 million ($38m) in a South American who had never been prolific back in the summer of 2015.

Firmino has, however, established himself as a vital cog in the Anfield machine, especially since the arrival of Klopp and his ‘gegenpressing’ philosophy.

He has improved year on year, with a personal best return of 27 goals recorded across all competitions last season.

It is not just his end product which makes him so important for Liverpool, though, with his selfless nature allowing others to flourish alongside him.

“Firmino is an absolute genius when you watch him close up,” Gerrard told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“He’s as interested in setting up a goal as scoring one.”

It is those qualities which have allowed Firmino to continue shining for Liverpool.

He is the focal point of a fearsome attacking unit which also includes Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

Roberto Firmino Sadio Mane Mohamed Salah Liverpool West Ham Premier League 120818

They have been back among the goals as a trio this season, with their efforts helping the Reds to six successive Premier League wins and a standing at the top of the table.

Gerrard believes Klopp’s side is as strong as any in recent memory, with it easy to argue that the class of 2018-19 is better than any squad he graced during an iconic career at Anfield.

The ex-England captain added: “I look at Liverpool now and can’t find any weaknesses when they’re at full strength.

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“This is a lot stronger than the team I played in.

“Liverpool have looked a different animal since [Virgil] Van Dijk came in and [Alisson] Becker brings more composure and trust.

“In time that’ll be the big difference – the front three will always score goals and the midfielders back them up too – but it’s all been about trying to improve defensively and they’re very close.”

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