Why it is time for Fabinho to start regularly for Liverpool
Liverpool have made a more than decent start to the season. They find themselves at third place in the Premier League table, only behind the leaders due to an inferior goal difference. Jurgen Klopp made some high-profile signings this summer, spending a fortune to get this squad right in shape to challenge for the title.
Alisson Becker is showing his class in goal, Naby Keita has displayed in patches that he can be the perfect No.8 for the Reds. Xherdan Shaqiri has impressed whenever he has got his chances to showcase his talent.
However, there is one player who probably was touted to be the most important signing of the summer but hasn’t started a league game yet – Fabinho. The Brazilian arrived for a fee worth about £43.7m from French club Monaco.
Since the departure of Javier Mascherano and Xabi Alonso, Liverpool have struggled to bring in a proper defensive midfielder. They had Lucas Leiva, who was only good in parts. Steven Gerrard tried to take up that position in the 2013-14 season but it was evident that the legend wasn’t a long-term solution.
Given the attributes that Fabinho possesses, he can possibly be the new long-term defensive midfielder at the club. However, Klopp’s football is night and day when compared to how the Ligue 1 worked for the Brazilian. Hence, it was understandable from the manager’s point of view to not throw the player into the starting line-up straight away.
Fabinho must start now
The injury to James Milner in the game against Manchester City showed that the 32-year-old cannot play games on a regular basis. He needs a rest between the games to recover. Jordan Henderson has been good in the No.6 role, however, starting Fabinho would make more sense.
It is because the Brazilian is not just a fantastic reader of the game, but his passing and incisiveness from deeper areas is something which makes him a complete defensive midfielder. In short, he is better suited to control the tempo of the game than Henderson.
The presence of Fabinho would allow Klopp to start Keita in the left midfield role and give him the freedom to move forward with the ball. Georginio Wijnaldum will also get more freedom to express himself on the ball rather than always thinking of stopping the counter-attack.