Liverpool news: Klopp hails versatile midfielder before Merseyside derby
What's the story?
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has paid tribute to the rise of Fabinho as a crucial member of his midfield. The 25-year-old was once again outstanding in Liverpool’s 5-0 demolition of Watford a couple of days ago.
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Fabinho, who was signed by Liverpool for a £43.7m fee, had a slow start to life at Anfield. The former Monaco man wasn’t even a regular in their matchday squad initially and only made his first Premier League start in late October.
The Brazil international later himself admitted that it took him time to adjust especially to the physical intensity of the Premier League and also to the rhythm with which Liverpool play.
The heart of the matter
Since the first start in October, Fabinho has gone on to consolidate his place in the team. He has quite compellingly demonstrated all the key attributes that made Liverpool sign him in the first place.
His composure on the ball, passing range, willingness to tackle and ability to play in different positions – he played at center back against Brighton – seem to have delighted his manager.
Speaking at the press conference before the upcoming Merseyside derby, Klopp was particularly effusive in his praise for Fabinho.
Referring specifically to the midfielder’s performance against Watford, he said: “Fabinho was really good for sure. It was one of his much better games. He had some spectacular moments - getting the ball, a little steal here or there, really good. Organization wise, he was brilliant. For sure, it was one of his top games.”
When asked for the reasons for Fabinho’s transformation over the last few months, Klopp replied: ” "He’s a very nice boy and a very smart boy as well. He wants to do everything right. A couple of things changed for him, intensity wise and tactical understanding as well. Sometimes you leave the boys a little bit to adapt naturally to it and not give them so much information.”
Klopp also noted that now the Brazilian could be entrusted to take on multiple roles based on the formation required: “Now, it’s no problem for him if we play with three, five, six or seven, whatever in the centre. That’s exactly what we wanted. That's where we are with Fabinho now and hopefully it stays like that."
Liverpool visit Everton for Sunday’s derby hoping to maintain the 1 point advantage over Manchester City at the top of the table. Now with his manger’s full trust behind him, Fabinho will go to Goodison Park brimming with confidence.