The last summer transfer window was a big one for Liverpool. Coming off an excellent season that ended with a Champions League final, Jürgen Klopp was well-positioned to attract some world-class talent to Melwood.
Alisson was the marquee goalkeeper to sign after building his reputation at AS Roma. Naby Keita finally arrived. The Guinean midfielder was one of the top players in the Bundesliga when Liverpool secured a deal for him the previous year.
Xherdan Shaqiri wasn’t the Nabil Fekir that we wanted but the Swiss international moved to Merseyside with loads of potential and now even the most critical of supporters would have to concede that Shaqiri is making a big difference for the team when he’s been called on.
Surprisingly, it’s been the absence of Fabinho in the team that has caused the most head scratching. The Brazilian enforcer was signed from AS Monaco just days after Liverpool played the final in Kiev. Many a highlight video was watched that day as a good chunk of supporters were unaware of Fabinho’s qualities in France.
The player performed well in his first preseason at the club but once the season began Fabinho was dropped from the squad.
Klopp has reiterated his intentions with Fabinho many times. The manager is willing to wait on players to develop into his system and Fabinho has needed a little longer than normal to acclimate.
But the questions over Fabinho’s long-term viability have remained constant. Now, with the January transfer window ever-looming Fabinho’s slow start at Liverpool is being used to create exit rumours.
At his pre-Watford press conference, Klopp dismissed any notion that Fabinho could be moving on after half a season.
“He is settling, yes,” said Klopp. “He played three of the last four and did well. It’s all good.
“Now, coming up, it’s the most intense period of the whole season. It’s unbelievable how many games we have. That’s good. We knew that before and now he used the time to adjust to what we want him to do.
“He was really good the last games he played, pretty much all were good or better.
“Of course he will not leave. I don’t talk about transfers but that would be completely crazy.
“He doesn’t want it. It’s just the crazy world out there that if he doesn’t play the last five games then people immediately open a transfer market. We are not involved in that.”