Oh, how so many have been left eating crow in the wake of Fabinho’s sudden, jet-like propulsion into near-undroppable status and into Liverpool supporter’s hearts. So many questions were posed of the Brazilian’s suitability to Jürgen Klopp’s team. So many rants were wailed through stressed eyeballs about the need to loan Fabinho in January and move on from an obviously disastrous transfer debacle. My god, the tweets.
But Fabinho is flourishing now and performing in every way and more that we all expected him to play when he moved to Liverpool from AS Monaco last summer. The entire Liverpool team was impressive in the 5-0 win against Watford FC, but Fabinho’s performance is worth an extra mention because it was likely his most impressive performance since joining the club.
“Fabinho was really good for sure,” said Klopp.
“It was one of his much better games. He had some spectacular moments - getting the ball, a little steal here or there, really good.
“Organisation wise, he was brilliant. Protection wise, he was brilliant. Football wise, he was really good. For sure, it was one of his top games.”
Fabinho was everywhere at Anfield on Tuesday and Klopp didn’t hold back his praise of the player who has trained hard from the first day, found his way into the team in his own time, and now rightly belongs in the top tier of midfielders at Melwood.
“He’s just feeling more natural in his position” Klopp said.
”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.
“But he did not need that as much as he maybe thought. Sometimes you leave the boys a little bit to adapt naturally to it and not give them so much information. Some things happen then.
“There were these moments when we’d say ‘okay, help him, go back to playing two in the centre’ because he was used to that.
”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.”
Mission accomplished. The defensive midfielder we’ve wanted for years is finally here. Fabinho is showing his quality now and it couldn’t be happening at a better time. The title race with Manchester City is incredibly close and predicted to remain so, knowing Klopp has a true enforcer to call on gives me comfort.
Fabinho should be included in the XI against Everton on Sunday. He is fully up to speed on dominating his position and he and Gini Wijnaldum and an unknown third midfielder named either Jordan Henderson or Naby Keita can control the middle of the park at Goodison and control the outcome.
Special mention to another special DM out there. We’re forever grateful, Lucas Leiva.