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Klopp Hints at Fabinho Start Against Red Star Belgrade

The boss talks up the Brazilian’s chances to earn his first start.

Liverpool v Torino - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Liverpool newcomer Fabinho appears to be prepared for the first start of his Liverpool career, with manager Jürgen Klopp declaring him, “Ready for action.” There’s room in the midfield, thanks to lingering injuries to captain Jordan Henderson and Naby Keïta.

Klopp has taken his time with the former Monaco star, limiting his appearances to a few off the bench as the manager trains him to play in his preferred style. The months of diligent training have paid off, with Fabinho set to start at Anfield on Wednesday when Liverpool welcome Red Star Belgrade in their third Champions League group stage match.

“Yes, it’s clear,” Klopp said. “It’s his birthday today by the way so it would be a nice present eh? It has got better and better and better and better and now everything is good. I didn’t make the line up yet but of course it is very important for us that he’s been here for a few months already and has got used to a few things. We’ll use him.”

Fabinho was a surprise transfer to Liverpool this season, with nothing leaking out about the deal until only hours before it became official. Since then, fans have been eager to see him in action in the regular season, after being impressed with his pre-season performances. Klopp has shown that he’s willing to be patient with his new players, only unleashing them on the pitch when he believes they’re ready. He showed that last season with Andy Robertson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. With any luck, Fabinho will have the same success as those two when he gets his opportunity.

“He has all the qualities,” Klopp explained. “Hard challenges, good offensively, defensively quick, good shooter, fantastic set-pieces, good header, all these things. He’s good strategically too in the right moment.

“We just play differently, a different system, and that’s what always needs time to adapt.”

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