Although he has only been at Saudi club Al-Ahli for six months, former Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino may be ready to call it quits.

When his contract with Liverpool expired in June 2023, the Brazilian striker chose to depart for free. The wealthy Saudi Pro League (SPL), Al-Ahli then swooped in over the summer and grabbed the 32-year-old.

Following Firmino’s lead, Riyad Mahrez and Allan Saint-Maximin also swapped English teams for Al-Ahli. Their combination of style and technical prowess gave the impression that the three would be one of the league’s most frightening front threes.

Unfortunately, they are now 13 points behind league leaders Al-Hilal. Even if Firmino and company have had their fair share of problems, being in third place belies some of those difficulties

So far this season, Firmino has seen action in 18 games for the Saudi Pro League club. But things haven’t looked good for him thus far with the Royals, with only three goals and three assists to show.

After a stellar start, he went scoreless in his subsequent nine matches. Worse still, has only appeared in six appearances since then – all from the bench. Consequently, he has faced backlash from the Al Ahli faithful.

How has Firmino fared is Saudi Arabia so far?

Everyone thought the SPL scored a major victory with Roberto Firmino’s move. The addition of a legendary player at the height of his career demonstrated the league’s growing appeal.

The Brazilian, who wowed the Premier League while playing for Liverpool, had high expectations. However, he has been underwhelming for Al-Ahli, leading to speculation of a possible leaving.

According to talkSPORT, there is a possibility that Firmino might be on the move in early 2024, probably on loan. This could happen despite the fact that his contract with Al-Ahli doesn’t expire until June 2026.

It is said that the striker’s patience has run out with the Al-Ahli method. The only thing that has happened as a consequence is that the former Premier League player is exploring his new club choices.

Furthermore, his club may be open to loaning the Brazilian out in January. Any number of European and Brazilian clubs are said to have taken notice of this.

Sheffield United, certain Saudi Arabian clubs, and teams from Turkey are closely watching the Brazilian. Under former manager Paul Heckingbottom, Sheffield kept tabs on him in anticipation of a potential surprise move for the player.

The Blades may no longer be a possibility, however, due to his dismissal and Chris Wilder’s reappointment.

Roberto Firmino has struggled since leaving Liverpool in the summer
Roberto Firmino has struggled since leaving Liverpool in the summer

Roberto Firmino has struggled since leaving Liverpool in the summer

Saudi stay possible?

Other teams said to be interested include Steven Gerrard’s Al Ettifaq. The former Liverpool captain has lately spoken highly of the seasoned attacker.

“I obviously know Bobby extremely well, I’ve been a massive fan. I’ve followed him for years,” Gerrard said, via Liverpool Echo.

“At the moment he’s Al-Ahli’s player so it’s very difficult for me to comment on that situation. But I’ve loved Bobby Firmino since the first day I watched him and I’m a huge fan. He belongs to another club, so I won’t sit here and name names.”

Even while Al-Ahli would rather have Firmino stay in Saudi Arabia, the 2019 Copa America champion is free to return to Europe or his home Brazil if he so desires.

Photo credit: IMAGO / Power Sport Images.