Babel backs Firmino to shine at Liverpool

Former Liverpool forward Ryan Babel is confident Roberto Firmino will be a hit at Anfield after making the switch from Hoffenheim.

Ryan Babel has backed former Hoffenheim team-mate Roberto Firmino to bring "joy" to Liverpool after making the switch to Anfield.

Firmino penned a "long-term contract" at Liverpool on June 24 after a reported fee that could eventually be worth £29million was agreed with the Bundesliga side.

Babel played with the Brazilian during their time together at Hoffenheim and the former Liverpool winger expects Firmino to dazzle the crowds once he settles into life in England.

"He is a tricky player," the Dutchman told the club's official website. "He can dribble, shoot, he has a great shot, he can play a lot of through balls and his assists are very good.

"He is actually also great at heading, which maybe you wouldn't think because he's not that tall, but he's very good at it.

"He's the kind of player that likes the ball at his feet and to do nice things with it, but something he learned in Germany was how to work without the ball and defend. I know how important that is in England, what you do without the ball. It was something he had to learn in Germany.

"I'm very happy for him. He's very talented and now it is down to him. He is the kind of player that can give a lot of joy to Liverpool fans because he's a very skilful player."

Firmino is one of six signings made by Brendan Rodgers during the close-season, joining Danny Ings, James Milner, Adam Bogdan, Nathaniel Clyne and youngster Joe Gomez.