Roberto Firmino makes major Saudi statement as he prepares to link up with new 15-goal partner

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Roberto Firmino has kicked off his time in Saudi Arabia with style.

After bidding an emotional farewell to a decorated and iconic era at Anfield, Liverpool legend Roberto Firmino has blown open the new chapter of his career. The Brazilian left the Reds on a free transfer this summer and became one of the many players moving over to the Saudi Pro League.

Firmino signed for Al-Ahli earlier this month on a three-year deal, as the club look to compete with their neighbours and rivals who are all making huge strides on the transfer market. The former Liverpool star has joined fellow former Premier League players Édouard Mendy and Ezgjan Alioski, while Riyad Mahrez is also due to join them after agreeing a move from Manchester City.

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Firmino fell down the pecking order under Jurgen Klopp towards the end of his tenure, making the majority of his appearances from off the bench as the likes of Cody Gakpo and Darwin Núñez were given the nod ahead of him. But he has kickstarted his Al-Ahli portfolio in style during a whopping 18-0 win over Austrian side UPS Stuhlfelden during pre-season preparations.

The Brazilian netted two goals in four minutes for the Saudi club, all inside the first 10 of the fixture. Firmino was also named as part of the starting 11, which he will hope will be a regular occurence as Al-Ahli prepare for their return to the top flight following their promotion.

The idea of Firmino linking up with clinical attacker Mahrez paints a concerning image for their upcoming rivals. The Algeria international was a strong asset for City during his tenure, and rounded off his last season under Pep Guardiola with 15 goals and 13 assists across all competitions.

As well as linking up with familiar faces, Firmino will also be competing against them and some will probably be his former teammates too. Both Jordan Henderson and Fabinho are edging closer to moves to Saudi Arabia, with Steven Gerrard’s Al-Ettifaq and Al-Ittihad respectively pushing hard to snap them up.

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