It was last week when it was reported that after eight successful years on Merseyside that Roberto Firmino was going to depart for pastures new.
Fan favourite Virgil van Dijk has spoken about the gaping void the Brazilian will leave once he moves on.
Firmino topped off an amazing afternoon at Anfield when he converted against age-old rivals Manchester United, taking his impressive tally to 108.
It was Liverpool’s seventh of the occasion, but one that will serve as a memory for a lifetime.
Understandably, the news was met with a wave of emotion from Liverpool supporters around the globe as it meant that another era was slowly moving past them.
Van Dijk spoke following Liverpool’s humiliation of Manchester United on the importance that teammate Firmino has had on Liverpool both on and off the pitch,
“I think that position of a false 9 is Bobby Firmino’s. He is the one that showed over the years how difficult it is for any other player to perform it but also for others to defend that,” the Dutch captain said.
“As a player, you can’t deny how important he is for the success that we had; for Mo (Salah), for Sadio (Mane) in the past but also for the players that still are here, for example, in Cody (Gakpo) to learn from him each and every day.”
Firmino’s off-the-field presence has been highlighted by van Dijk.
“But as a human being as well, he’s a great guy and I wish him obviously all the best after the summer. But for now we still have targets to reach and he knows that and he wants to make sure that we fulfil that as well.”
Van Dijk’s touching comments are a testament of Firmino’s selfless character and how much he was able to influence Liverpool’s trophy-laden years, even if he was not receiving the plaudits with Salah and Mane firing on all cylinders.
It is understood that the 31-year-old has ruled out a move to another Premier League club out of respect for Liverpool but is looking for options overseas to continue his lavish career.
It’s clear that all Liverpool players and supporters are forever in debt of the experience and personality he has given to this great club, and he will be sorely missed.