Roughly sixteen months ago, Liverpool social media were furious once again, as we always are during every transfer window, at the club’s failure to bring in an explosive talent with quality, and at such a tender age in Memphis Depay.
Coming to Liverpool would’ve made the most perfect sense in our eyes, well, in mine at least. To me, he would be the best replacement for Raheem Sterling, who’s departure from Anfield was all but concluded. The Memphis Depay transfer saga dragged on for so long, but in the end, Manchester United beat us to the punch.
Those were the kind of days I didn’t like Liverpool Twitter at all. It was full of hatred on the clubs ability to negotiate transfers. It dragged on for days.
A couple of weeks later after Memphis signed for United, Liverpool mended our torn hearts and announced the signing of who is now one of the most vital players in our squad, Roberto Firmino.
It was the best feeling in the world, actually. Apart from Liverpool concluding business swiftly, the humiliation from Manchester United supporters after the constant boasting across social media that they’ve won the race for Firmino was pretty funny. All the tweets, posts, and YouTube videos welcoming Firmino to United was then, and still is a source of humour for Liverpool fans.
Firmino hadn’t had the best of starts in his Liverpool career – but that was largely due to a number of reasons, being played out of position was the biggest one. It will take time for players to settle into new surroundings, but being played in a position that’s not best suited for your abilities isn’t going to help.
As with virtually every player at Liverpool, the change of manager from Brendan Rodgers to Jurgen Klopp had transformed the Brazilian into a completely different player as to what Liverpool fans witnessed in the beginning of last season. Klopp was notorious for taking promising players and transforming them into superstars like he did with numerous players during his time at Borussia Dortmund.
Roberto Firmino finished last season with over 20 goals or assists last season, and played a huge role in demolishing Manchester City at the Etihad, and an incredible performance against Arsenal at home.
While Roberto Firmino was busy impressing in both domestic and European competitions throughout his first season at Liverpool Football Club, the Eredivisie champion across the city was headed in the opposite direction. Memphis, who scored 22 goals and assisted five in his final season at PSV Eindhoven prior to his move, had only assisted twice and scored zilch in 1500 minutes of league football at Manchester United, and has now barely been used by Jose Mourinho who, despite his recent announcement and list of the number of young players he’s given chances across Europe, isn’t notorious in nurturing talent at all.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think a player with the talent of Memphis Depay can lose all those gifts in horrific first season in a new club. But it’s safe to say we’ve gotten a player in Bobby who is far better, and is what we needed than what Memphis could have offered had he completed his move to Liverpool. Firmino’s movement, mentality, and incredible work rate made him one of the first names on the team sheet, and one everyone keeps looking for when the lineups come out.
What was once dubbed as missing out on an incredibly good player, now feels like a dodged bullet.
Thanks, Liverpool and Ian Ayre. That was the biggest – but the best mistake you made.