Jurgen Klopp believes the reason behind Fabinho’s strong displays for Liverpool comes down to him feeling more “natural” with his role.
Upon completing a £39m transfer from AS Monaco last summer, Fabinho struggled to adapt at Liverpool and there were suggestions that his stay at Anfield might end up being a short one.
But since being handed his Premier League debut on October 20 at Huddersfield Town, Fabinho has steadily become a more integral member of the Liverpool squad and his versatility has proven to be a very useful asset for manager Klopp.
The German even regularly starts Fabinho in a deep midfield role all by himself now after previously having someone partner him.
“He’s just feeling more natural in his position. He’s a very nice boy and a very smart boy as well. He wants to do everything right,” Klopp told the club website.
“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 ‘OK, 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.”
The former Real Madrid loanee’s performance in Liverpool’s 5-0 thrashing of Watford on Wednesday was a sight that particularly pleased Klopp.
“Fabinho was really good for sure,” Klopp said.
“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.”
Liverpool will take on Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday in a Premier League match with kick-off set for 5:15 PM (CET).