If media reports are to believed, Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino is on his way to Old Trafford for fee believed to be in the region of €18 million. The 23-year old Brazil international had a brilliant season for Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga, scoring seven goals and providing ten assists in 33 games. Firmino’s rise to the Bundesliga’s elite has been of a rather steady nature and the midfielder has improved every season. Similarly, he only debuted for Brazil in November last year and already has three goals (all of which were crucial winners) to his name in just six appearances.
If the quoted transfer fee is accurate, this is an incredible bargain for Manchester United. This is exactly the type of player that they need and Firmino is surely worth more than €30 million in real terms. The attacking midfielder is a regular goalscorer and has great vision. He contributes not only goals but is an even better passer who will create opportunities for his teammates. After 140 appearances in 35 goals, Firmino’s time at Hoffenheim and the Bundesliga seem to be over and his rise is set to continue at Manchester United and in the Premier League.
For United, the signing of Firmino would mean a higher quality midfield and the addition of a player who would complement the likes of Herrera and Mata. In addition to this, there would be no need to play Rooney in a deeper role, as the captain clearly struggles with that position. Firmino would contribute to Rooney’s game and would arguably create even more opportunities for the England striker.
Manchester United will need to continue to address the midfield position, the holding one in particular. If they are to compete for the title, defensive midfield will have to be reinforced and it is somewhat surprising that they decided not to go for Sami Khedira, who has now joined Juventus. On the other hand, they seem to be in the running for Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan who would arguably be an even better fit. Furthermore, there is the obvious need to buy a right-back, with negotiations seemingly underway with Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne.
This is a great start to Manchester United’s transfer activity this summer and follows the previous addition of Dutch winger Memphis Depay. If United continue at this rate, supporters are in for a treat, as it currently looks like less of a blockbuster but more of a needs-addressing transfer window. Ultimately, addressing those needs will ensure exciting attacking football, as is expected at the Theatre of Dreams.