Ignore the know-nothing critics in England, Fabinho is starting to show his class for Liverpool and is becoming a key player for Jurgen Klopp
There has been a lot of early talk that Fabinho’s transfer from former French champions AS Monaco to English giants Liverpool has been a disappointment. However, the reality is very different and the last few matches are already starting to show why the 25-year-old is heading in the right direction. Here’s why the best is yet to come, for the Brazilian.
The English media is always quick to judge players, especially the newcomers, and Fabinho’s case has not been any different. Some outlets went as far as suggesting that the central midfielder could be out of the club by January, an absurd prediction.
Liverpool reached the Champions League final last season with a midfield trio of Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Georgino Wijnaldum, but it was obvious throughout the season that the English team needed a reinforcement to give ‘Hendo’ some competition, as the team-captain had taken his started place for granted, which clearly affected his performances.
The main problem was that his passing was too horizontal and lacked creativity, which meant Liverpool would struggle in breaking down deep-lying defenses. Another issue at times, was the England international’s failure to bring defensive stability to his back-four.
So far, it is already quite obvious that Fabinho has at least been an improvement on one point, i.e, shielding his back-four much better than Henderson could. To put things into perspective, the Brazilian made five ball recoveries against Everton in his first Merseyside derby, with two of them leading to a goal-scoring chance.
Fabinho made the most tackles (6) and covered the most distance (11.4kms) of any Liverpool player v Everton. Judgement on him can only come after a run of games. https://t.co/YshvjqrJJx
— paul joyce (@_pauljoyce) December 3, 2018
The ease in which the 25-year old regained possession, impressed the fans at Anfield. The most impressive moment was perhaps when a brilliant sliding tackle from the Brazilian led to a situation where Xhedran Shaqiri ended up one-on-one against Jordan Pickford as a direct result, and came close to opening the scoreline. Liverpool fans are already wondering what could have been, had the Brazil international been there in mid-week away to Paris Saint Germain.
While it is true that Fabinho’s season kicked off very slowly, it’s also evident how much he continues to gain momentum game after game. Last season, new signings Andrew Robertson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had to wait until around Christmas, to finally impose themselves as key figures in the team.
It seems to be a strategy that German tactician Jurgen Klopp follows – taking his time in introducing his new signings to the starting lineup. If this tells us anything, it’s that Fabinho is in safe hands, with the process of his adaptation going as well as planned. In this sense, it is not abnormal that Klopp preserved him in the first two months, and it is also not abnormal that he has started four out of Liverpool’s last five league matches.
Liverpool have a very interesting squad with a manager who knows what he is doing. Fabinho is on his way to become an integral part of this orchestra, and will demonstrate why Klopp’s faith in him will eventually be justified.