Roberto Firmino Could Become Liverpool's New Luis Suarez, Says Thierry Henry

Christopher SimpsonFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2016

Liverpool's Roberto Firmino, rigth, fights for the ball against Manchester City's Fernando during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, England, Wednesday, March 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jon Super/Associated Press

Former Arsenal star and Sky Sports pundit Thierry Henry believes Liverpool may have found their long-term replacement for Luis Suarez in Roberto Firmino. 

Per Charles Perrin of the Express, he said on Sky Sports:

I will give him the benefit of the doubt because he has just arrived and he needs to settle.Things changed during the season and it isn’t always easy. He is starting to show some signs that he can be that guy.

Is he Suarez? At the moment he isn’t Suarez. But he might be in the future. Is he the guy who is going to make Liverpool win a title? I don’t know.

He is doing extremely well. If he can build a partnership with Coutinho, who knows?

Suarez helped transform Liverpool into title contenders and almost fired them to glory in the 2013-14 season, before departing for Barcelona.

Firmino was recruited from Hoffenheim last summer, and after an inconspicuous start to his Anfield career, he has emerged as a key player for Liverpool.

Per the club's official Twitter feed, the Brazilian has been in especially good form since the turn of the year:

Indeed, he contributed relatively little in the first half of the season as he adapted to his new surroundings, save for a magnificent performance in the Reds' 4-1 win over Manchester City.'s Melissa Reddy shared his overall Premier League stats for the season, via Opta:

The 24-year-old has already scored more league goals than he did for Hoffenheim last year and is well on his way to surpassing the 10 assists he managed in the Bundesliga.

Bleacher Report UK's Jack Lusby likened him to Suarez in Liverpool's 2-2 draw with Sunderland in February, in which he scored and provided an assist:

Firmino has a long way to go before he reaches the Uruguayan's level, but after taking some time to settle in, he is certainly becoming a key figure in manager Jurgen Klopp's plans at Anfield.

As prolific as he was for Ajax, it wasn't until his final two seasons at Liverpool that Suarez was widely thought of as the world-class talent he is today.

Firmino is five years younger, so if he can continue to develop his game and maintain a consistently high level of performance, he could in time replicate the striker.