The lesson Fabinho should learn from Andrew Robertson
Liverpool fans are dying to see more of their £39 million man Fabinho Tavares, with sightings of the imposing Brazilian still surprisingly rare after his summer switch from Monaco.
While everyone has been quick to quash any negativity surrounding his lack of game time, citing the arrivals of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Andrew Robertson as perfect examples of Klopp ensuring that his new men are ready, tactically and physically, before throwing them into the starting XI.
These are two good examples of proving that patience is a virtue, but there’s perhaps an even bigger lesson that Fabinho could learn specifically from Andrew Robertson – and it goes something like ‘Carpe Diem’.
Although Fabinho has found his opportunities limited in his Anfield career so far, the unfortunate injury to one of this season’s stand-out performers, James Milner, has presented him with what could be a golden opportunity to stake his claim to a starting role in the Klopp’s team.
And the reason as to why he could learn a thing or two from Robertson? Well, think back to the start of his Liverpool career, when he struggled to get into the team ahead of Alberto Moreno. It was only because of an injury picked up by the Spaniard that Robertson got his chance for a consistent run of games: a chance which he grabbed with both hands.
Since then, Robertson hasn’t looked back and has arguably been Liverpool’s most consistent performer since he broke into the side, and this should prove as both a lesson and as inspiration to Fabinho.
With competition for places in the Liverpool midfield so fierce, any chance Fabinho gets he will know he has to make count.
When all of his options are fit, Jürgen Klopp has seven options to choose from to make up his midfield – you can make that eight if you slot Shaqiri into a deeper-lying playmaker role, too.
Milner’s injury may well be irritating for him, but it provides Fabinho with a huge chance to come into this side and show the fans and his manager what he can do. He could well come in and make his full Premier League debut in Liverpool’s game against Huddersfield after the international break – a game in which he’s likely not to be tested as thoroughly as in some of the other games this season (no disrespect to Huddersfield, of course).
It will provide him with the chance to give Klopp not just another option, but a real selection headache – and you never know, if he truly follows in Robertson’s shoes, he could make it near impossible for Milner and the rest of them to take his starting spot off him.
It may seem brutal and hard-faced, but that is the harsh reality of professional football. We’ve seen it happen before and we will see it again and again, but it is a harsh lesson that will time and again prove to be the making of players.
Fabinho is the latest in this long line of footballers who will look to seize the opportunity presented to them with both hands for fear that he will continue to languish on the subs bench alongside Robertson’s ‘victim’, Alberto Moreno.
While Mr Tavares has spoken well and seems to be getting his head down in training, he will understandably be feeling very frustrated at his situation deep down.
Nobody moves from a club where your name is one of the first on the team sheet every week to just be a benchwarmer elsewhere, so he’ll be itching to properly get his career in a Red shirt underway.
This hunger must be what drives him on and take his chance should it present itself, because the likelihood of something like this coming around again any time soon are pretty slim.