A pacy, hard-working Brazilian striker with a keen eye for goal at Hoffenheim? No, it's not Roberto Firmino - but Joelinton, could well follow in his compatriot's footsteps under the guidance of Julian Nagelsmann.

Hoffenheim's front line was in need of a major revamp following the departures of Mark Uth and Serge Gnabry in July, as well as Sandro Wagner's January move to Bayern Munich. With that void to fill, it is telling that Nagelsmann set about bringing the 22-year-old back from a two-year loan spell in Austria with Rapid Vienna, rather than looking elsewhere for reinforcements.

Watch: Joelinton ready to live the Bundesliga dream

After all, Nagelsmann has earned a reputation as something of a player whisperer, a man able to tickle the very best out of his charges. Niklas Süle, Wagner and Kerem Demirbay all became full Germany internationals on his watch, the former duo even improving to such an extent that Bayern signed them – along with another Nagelsmann alumni, Sebastian Rudy.

Clearly, then, Joelinton must have something about him to have caught Nagelsmann's attention. "He's become a very good player," said the Hoffenheim tactician of the 6'1" forward the club signed to a five-year deal from Sport Recife in 2015. "He was always very talented but he's developed a lot during his time in Austria. He's a big guy and is awkward to defend against. He's very inquisitive and able to learn."

Watch: Roberto Firmino - Made in the Bundesliga

Like Firmino, who is four years his senior, Joelinton was born and raised in eastern Brazil, just a couple of hours from the port city of Recife. And as was the case with Firmino, he has needed some time to adjust to life and playing in Europe.

The Liverpool forward may be feared throughout world football now, but initially he took a while to get going after moving to Hoffenheim in January 2011 and did not score until his sixth league outing. Overall he made 74 Bundesliga appearances in his first two and a half seasons in Germany, managing 15 goals and seven assists in those formative years at the club.

Roberto Firmino mastered his trademark no-look finishes during his time at Hoffenheim. © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA / Christof Koepsel

By way of contrast, Joelinton, who, like Firmino plays more as a second striker, registered a similarly respectable return of 21 goals and nine assists in 79 competitive fixtures for Rapid.

Admittedly, the fact Firmino became a full Brazil international and exploded into form in 2015/16 - hitting 16 goals and 11 assists - is no guarantee Joelinton will follow suit, but the early evidence suggests he certainly has the potential to do so.

Joelinton served notice of his promise this season by hitting a hat-trick in a thumping 6-1 victory over Kaiserslautern in the DFB Cup first round. "I had two good years in Vienna but I'm happy to be back," he said afterwards. "I hope things continue like this."

He failed to find the target in subsequent Bundesliga matches against Bayern and Freiburg, but retains Nagelsmann's faith, having played the full 90 minutes in both assignments.

Furthermore, Joelinton's superior pass completion rate (81.1 per cent) compared to Firmino (74) and fellow strikers Adam Szalai (66.7 per cent) and Andrej Kramaric (80.5 per cent), and his ability to win challenges (47.4 per cent; Firmino 45.5 per cent, Szalai 39 per cent, Kramaric 42 per cent) underline the all-round threat he poses.

There is little doubt, then, that Joelinton has the right ingredients to shine in the Bundesliga. And having already won over Nagelsmann, it appears it will only be a matter of time before he moves out of Firmino's shadow and starts casting one of his own.

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