Much has been expected of Fabinho, the £40m man brought in under the radar from Monaco in the early days of the summer transfer window. Many Reds supporters praised the signing, considered the first defensively-minded midfielder recruited in the Jurgen Klopp era to replace the hole left by the departures of the likes of Emre Can and Lucas Leiva.
However, the no. 6 role in Klopp’s system is expansive and notoriously difficult to master with the Brazilian needing to wait almost two months to be deemed versed enough in the position to start a game for the Reds.
Though there have been positive performances against lesser opponents such as the likes of Red Star Belgrade at home in the Champions League and Cardiff City, struggles in starts against Chelsea and Arsenal have shown that the former full back is yet to complete the adaptation process.
“I’m not totally settled just yet,” Fabinho admitted recently according to the Express.
“I’m still adapting to here but I believe that I’m now used to the football style, especially when it comes to the intensity of the game which is really different from the league that I came from.”
As in previous seasons under Klopp, new signings, particularly in midfield, have generally needed an extended bedding-in period, with Klopp’s rigorous physical and tactical requirements in the engine room initially proving difficult for the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and even a talent like fellow summer recruit Naby Keita to master.
However, ready or not, injuries to Keita as well as knocks to captain Jordan Henderson and James Milner have served to press Fabinho into service and the 25-year-old remains confident that the consistent playing time in addition to extended time on the training ground will eventually result in improved performances.
“Regarding the managers, I’m adapted to their training sessions and I’m comfortable with that,” Fabinho asserted.
“I’m now playing more regularly, which is also important. I’m on the right track to completely adapting to England.”