Just days after Champions League disappointment for Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp has made a move to bring in Fabinho to add vim and vigor to his squad
Liverpool have often been linked with players who catch the attention and enthusiasm of fans, with their transfer sagas lasting for weeks, only for the whole deal to fall through in the end. Brazil international Fabinho is henceforth the notable exception, as the Reds surprised their supporters by announcing his signing out of the blue. So what can the 24-year-old add to Liverpool’s midfield?
To begin with, the former AS Monaco star is just as capable of operating in central midfield, as he is in the right-back position, which used to be his primary role back in the day, before Portuguese tactician Leonardo Jardim saw something else in him.
Fabinho impressed at Real Madrid despite having very limited opportunities with the first team, but a move to Ligue Un helped take his career on a different path, as he quickly cemented himself as one of the league’s best midfielders. Fundamental in some of Monaco’s impressive Champions League results over the past few years, such as knocking out the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City with brilliant individual performances, the Brazil international caught the eye of Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool’s midfield has been crying out for someone like Fabinho, who adds more energy in the holding midfield role and covers space better than team-captain Jordan Henderson, but is also a better passer with his forward balls and diagonals. Thanks to his decent technique and impressive physical power, he is capable of shielding the ball with his body and making forward runs whenever necessary, which also puts him as an option to take over the Emre Can role, as the German is set to depart to Italian giants Juventus.
Having said that, playing Fabinho as right-back remains a possibility under specific circumstances, although it seems like Trent Alexander-Arnold has that position secured for the foreseeable future.
Fabinho’s exclusion from the World Cup is seen as a surprise by many, however Brazil boss Tite never selected him, even last season when he had a brilliant campaign, helping AS Monaco win the French league and reach the semi-final phase of the UEFA Champions League.
This season, following the departures of many key players such as Benjamin Mendy, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Bernardo Silva and Kylian Mbappé, it was normal that the level of the team dropped, which affected Fabinho’s performances. Add to that, the fact that the club blocked a dream-transfer to Paris Saint Germain last summer, which certainly killed his motivation and increased his willingness to leave the club. Despite that, he did maintain a professional attitude and finished the season without causing any serious trouble, and was eventually rewarded with this move to the English league.
Fabinho could look back and regret not having completed this transfer a year earlier, which would have certainly boosted his chances of making Brazil’s World Cup squad. But the future is bright for the 24-year-old who has the opportunity to reach stardom in the Premier League, ahead of Copa América 2019.