Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has heaped praise on forward Roberto Firmino, claiming he believes that the Brazilian is one of the side's most important players.

The 26-year-old joined Liverpool in 2015 and has emerged as a crucial part of the team's dynamic attacking lineup. He has made 152 appearances for the club, netting 53 goals and creating a further 41 for the likes of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Gerrard - now manager of Scottish side Rangers - revealed just how highly he regards the Brazilian. He admitted: "Firmino is an absolute genius when you watch him close up.


"He's as interested in setting up a goal as scoring one."

The legendary former Reds midfielder went on to praise Salah and Mane, but insisted that Firmino "is the key."

Although Gerrard never played alongside Firmino for Liverpool's first team, the two worked together during Gerrard's time as a coach from February 2017 until this summer, when Gerrard took charge of Scottish side Rangers.


On his time with Firmino, Gerrard revealed: "Every time I received the ball he was always available and looking for other players - he's a dream to play with."

The 38-year-old also discussed his excitement towards Liverpool's current team, saying: "I look at Liverpool now and can't find any weaknesses when they're at full strength. This is a lot stronger than the team I played in - it's Liverpool's best squad for a very long time.

"The only thing they haven't got going for them is the experience. As someone who went very close, we lacked that experience."

As well as Firmino, Gerrard was full of praise for Virgil van Dijk, Alisson and James Milner, who have all been vital to Liverpool's impressive start to the season. 

He said: "Liverpool have looked a different animal since Van Dijk came in and Alisson brings more composure and trust."

"In time that'll be the big difference - the front three will always score goals and the midfielders back them up too - but it's all been about trying to improve defensively and they're very close."