As a club who might not be on the radar of too many people, Hoffenheim are a quiet but impressive European project. Having made it into the UEFA Champions League play-off berths in 2017/18, they were put out in some style by Liverpool. Despite losing most of their squad and their depth, coach Julien Nagelsmann went one better and qualified directly for the biggest tournament in European football outright.
Part of that success has come from being able to rejuvenate the squad and keep new talents coming in. The loss of the impressive Mark Uth was one example given of a good player who had left Hoffenheim without much cover. However, the impressive form of Joelinton has people speaking about a former Hoffenheim player – Roberto Firmino.
While not entirely similar in playstyle, the big Brazilian bagged a late equalizer in a 3-3 thriller with Lyon in midweek. The 22-year-old was set to spend time on loan with Austrian outfit Rapid Vienna, but that soon changed – and now he’s banging them in for Hoffenheim in Europe and also against clubs like Borussia Dortmund.
Seemingly a player who always wants to learn and improve, it is no surprise to see him succeed. Blessed with a natural frame for a central forward, he’s making a big impact in the Bundesliga and has matured immensely since the start of the season. Without doubt, he is one to look out for: a striker with Firmino-like potential, perhaps?