Garcia calls for patience with Firmino

Former Liverpool attacker Luis Garcia says Reds fans must give big money signing Roberto Firmino time to acclimatise to the demands of the Premier League.

The Spaniard had to make a similar transition himself when he arrived from Barcelona in 2004, and he went on to be a key figure in the Reds’ capture of their fifth European Cup.

Firmino joined Liverpool from Hoffenheim in the summer; and having made two late cameo appearances in the respective1-0 wins over Stoke City and Bournemouth, he was handed his first start by manager Brendan Rodgers in the goalless draw at Arsenal.

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The 23-year-old kept his place in the side for the visit of West Ham United, and came closest to scoring for the Merseyside club as he rattled the post with a long-range effort in what was a torrid afternoon for the Reds.

Whilst he has shown glimpses of what he can do, Firmino hasn’t set the league alight yet, but Garcia believes that will come in time.

Garcia, 37, told the Liverpool Echo: “It’s not easy to come into the Premier League and adapt. I think that he’s a very good player but you have to give him time to adapt to the pace of the game, to the players, the different situations in games.

He’s a player that wants to do things to change games, like Coutinho does at the moment.

Even though Liverpool were comprehensively beaten by the Hammers on Saturday, Garcia is still optimistic about their chances at Old Trafford in the first game back after the international break.

“It’s one of the biggest games of the season,” he said.

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“Manchester United have not been 100% so far this season and maybe some of the events of the last few days (De Gea saga) may have affected them a little bit.

“Hopefully Liverpool will be right there, for the three points and for what it means to the supporters with the rivalry.

Liverpool have to keep going. You can get games like Saturday. It’s better to get it out of the way early in the season. They’ve got lots of days now to find the solution, a big space to put in some work.

“I think the main target for the year has to be Champions League football. Liverpool need to play against the big teams. But it’s not easy at the start of the year, with new players, new signings, different ways of playing maybe with Benteke.”

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