Firmino in Fine Form
Brazilian attacker Roberto Firmino has been in excellent form for Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga in recent weeks. The 22 year old has been particularly impressive and has been linked with a move to a bigger club when the summer comes around.
So far this season Firmino has scored 12 goals in 22 starts, making him the highest scorer in the Hoffenheim squad and 5th highest scorer in the division overall. That’s particularly impressive in a team which sits in mid-table and lacks the creativity of some of the bigger German clubs. Firmino averages 2.5 shots per game, which shows just how clinical he is being. He has played in 22 of the 23 games for Hoffenheim this season, underlining his importance to them as a team, only Beck has appeared more times.
Firmino has been most regularly deployed as a central attacking midfielder, although he has also been used on the left, as a midfielder and as a striker. His versatility certainly adds another notch to his bow and is something which should not hinder his progress but rather enamour him to other clubs if he is to leave.
Attacking midfielder seems to be where he is most comfortable, in 15 games in the role he has scored 8 goals, compared to 1 in 3 as a central striker, and 2 in 2 on the left. As an attacking midfielder Firmino has provided 6 of his 8 assists for the season, also the highest in the Hoffenheim team and joint highest in the Bundesliga. On average Firmino is creating 1.8 chances per game, and averages 41.5 passes, with an accuracy of 77.1%.
Firmino’s skill and ability on the ball is shown by the fact that he completes 4.2 dribbles per game and is fouled twice per game, suggesting that the opposition are resorting to fouling the Brazilian as the best way of stopping him.
Firmino’s defensive contribution is another aspect of his game which can see him make it at the highest level and is the reason he can play in a deeper midfield role. He averages 2.5 tackles and 0.7 interceptions per game.
Winning the ball high up the field is becoming a more and more important part of the modern game and as such it’s a characteristic which separates the best in the world from the rest, as Mata, Hazard and Oscar have demonstrated under Mourinho this season.
Although he does commit 2.2 fouls per game and has received 3 yellow cards this season, it’s not the worst disciplinary record and his aggression is another aspect of his game which is to be admired. That’s also shown by the fact that he wins 1.8 headers per game.
His form over the past month or so has been particularly impressive, scoring 5 goals in his last 5 games and providing 1 assist in the process. It could be said that his performances have lacked consistency so far this season, as he experienced a 4 game goal drought at the end of November, but since the winter break his performances have been of a higher level, if he can achieve consistency and produce on a regular basis, there’ll be all manner of clubs wishing to be suitors for the Brazilian and Hoffenheim may struggle to hold on to their most prized asset.
Statistics courtesy of WhoScored
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