Liverpool agreed a deal of around £29million to sign Firmino from Hoffenheim last month, and Lutz Pfannensteil, a former player himself, believes the Brazilian can enjoy just as much success in England as he did in Germany following his move from Figueirense in 2011.
Pfannensteil told Jan Aage Fjortoft in an interview on YouTube: “He came very early to Hoffenheim, when not many people knew him yet, from a second division club in Brazil. He was a kid but he developed very well,”
“He’s not the typical Brazilian player that you would imagine – obviously he’s fast, he’s technically strong, he can score goals but the last three years the work he has put in, not just in the games but on the training field show that he is a special player.”
Pfannensteil revealed that a number of ‘big clubs from all over the world’ were interested in Firmino but feels that Liverpool was the right choice for the 23-year-old.
“In my opinion, going to Liverpool was the right choice,” he said. “I think Brendan Rodgers is just the right guy to work with him, he is always successful with younger players and will let him play for one of the biggest teams in the world.
“I think he can become the same star in England that he was in Germany.”
Pfannensteil also feels Liverpool’s new No.11 will settle quickly on Merseyside quickly having already shown his ability to adapt following his move to Germany.
“The Brazilian guys that come in from Brazil to Europe, it is always a bit of a risk because it is a different culture, it’s different weather, different language but Roberto is now more than four years in Germany,” Pfannensteil added.
“He learnt the language, he knows the European way of life. It’s not such a big cultural shock to go from Germany to England and also the languages are not so different. I think, at the end of the day, he will adjust very fast.
“He’s already said in an interview that he really enjoys it there and I can see him being a big fan favourite there. Maybe soon he will play in the Champions League – I think that is what he wants. Liverpool is obviously a team that always can achieve that.”