Steve Bruce has compared Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino to Manchester United legend Eric Cantona.
The Brazil international shone as Liverpool maintained their perfect start to the new season against Newcastle on Saturday, coming off the bench to play an influential role in the 3-1 win at Anfield.
Newcastle manager Bruce has hailed the 27-year-old following his latest impressive showing, likening Firmino to Cantona and praising the attacker’s ability to drift into dangerous areas.
Manchester United legend Cantona is widely regarded as one of the Premier League’s all-time most influential players and Bruce, who played alongside the Frenchman for four seasons at Old Trafford, see’s similarities between Firmino and his former teammate.
“He’s one that drifts into that little area and he naturally does it, where it’s so difficult for defenders to go,” Bruce told his post match press conference.
“And his attitude and work-rate, it’s so important.
“Of course, their front three are as good as you are going to play against as a threat to you. The way they play with the intensity, the full-backs are only young and the delivery and presence they bring to the box you can see why they are champions of Europe.
“Cantona is as good a player as I’ve ever seen. I haven’t seen Firmino week in week out like that, but just when you see him here and what he gives them, it’s a perfect balance. And Cantona gave us that.
“Back in the day, we had Giggs and Kanchelskis who had frightening pace and stretched sides so much like Liverpool’s two, and Cantona dropped into that hole and people couldn’t get anywhere near them. That’s what you see with Firmino.
“Firmino is the one that drops in, but the pace of the other two is frightening, he drops in and the other two are running over your shoulder.
“It is… look they are a very, very good team, as good as you get. At this moment in time is there anyone better? The one down the road I suppose is there at the minute, but they are certainly as good as you get.
“When you work against them, and try to negate them, then you see why they haven’t lost for two years here.”
Let's just watch it again, shall we? 🤩pic.twitter.com/c4vt7aH3AJ
— Goal (@goal) September 15, 2019