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Why Fabinho Is the Perfect Signing for Liverpool

Fabinho’s former youth coach spoke with ESPN FC about what makes him the ideal Klopp player

AS Monaco v Juventus - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: First Leg Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

With the emotional rollercoaster of last weekend still fresh in our minds, Liverpool FC took most of the LFC collective completely by surprise with the announcement that we had made our first signing of the 2018-19 Summer transfer window. The 24-year-old, Brazilian, Fabinho seems to be the perfect replacement for Emre Can and according to Jürgen Klopp, has the versatility to play as a right-sided full-back, anchoring midfielder and advanced central midfielder.

Fabinho hails from São Paulo and made a name for himself during his time in Ligue 1, playing for A.S. Monaco, thriving in his role at the base of the midfield. Originally on loan to the 2016-17 Ligue 1 Champions from Real Madrid, Fabinho signed a permanent deal with the club on 20 May 2015 after two seasons. As a defensive midfielder in a country overflowing with talent in every position, it has not been easy to break into the national side and thusly, Fabinho will not be travelling to Russia for the World Cup. However, this does give him time to settle into his new home and club before the start of the new season in August.

ESPN FC spoke with Matt Wilsher, who worked as a technical coach at Fluminense, which is where Fabinho began his career, and gave some insight into our new signing.

He was not extrovert, but always very polite, respectful and always well thought of within the group. When I spoke to the people at Fluminense about him, everyone came back and said not only what a good player he is, but what a good human being he is as well.

He’s very humble and a player with an excellent personality, a lot of humility. He’s a little bit shy, but not afraid of playing football. When he needs to take responsibility within the group, he does. And on the pitch he doesn’t hide.

He’s displayed those characteristics ever since he was a kid at Fluminense.

In addition to his personality, the Fulminense coach believes Fabinho’s attributes make him an ideal player for the Premier League—and for working with Klopp.

I think he’s got a lot of characteristics that are probably suited to the English game. this reason, it’s probably why Klopp wanted him at Liverpool. I’d say his main qualities are probably his strength and technique. He’s a player that’s got a very good stature to him, so he’s quite tall and this was always highlighted during his time at Fluminense for his offensive qualities. When he arrives in attacking areas, he’s very strong.

He’s got a very a big tactical reading of the game, so he knows how to support, his marking is very good, he knows how to balance the defence and cover defenders. His tactical reading of the game is very good.

It all sounds promising, and Liverpool look to have found themselves a special player, but Wilsher does warn that fans might not see the very best of Fabinho straight away.

There’ll be an adaptation period, like there always is with South American players who come to Europe and have to adjust to the style of play in England. I think if Klopp gives him a specific position and he knows that role in the team then it makes that adaptation a little easier.

I think if he nails it down to one position in that Liverpool team and knows exactly what his responsibilities are, we’ll see the adaptation made easier for him.

I think just maybe the World Cup came too early for him. He’s 24 now, so you’re talking about another two World Cups after this. I think the move to Liverpool and playing regularly in the Premier League will be key in him cementing a place in the ‘Seleção’.

Here’s to Fabinho cementing himself in his new role as an LFC footballer and earning himself a key role with Brazil while he’s at Anfield.
Bemvindo ao Liverpool, Fábio. Y.N.W.A.

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