"He makes the players around him better" - Former Liverpool legend praises Reds star: Xabi Alonso believes Fabinho is crucial to Reds’ midfield

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Former Liverpool legend Xabi Alonso believes Fabinho is a vital cog in midfield for Jurgen Klopp’s current Red machine.

Alonso, who tasted Champions League glory with Liverpool in Istanbul in 2005, says that Fabinho’s role in the current Liverpool team is not too unlike his own under Rafa Benitez over a decade ago.

The former Real Madrid and Bayern Munich star highlighted the similarities in their game.

“I think that we could have similarities in terms of the position, in terms of how we want to connect with the players around, how he makes the players around him better players, making them play easier and play better.

“Taking many small, correct decisions is part of being a midfielder and he does it very well.”

Fabinho spent a year on loan at Real Madrid from 2012 to 2013 where he was normally a fixture in the reserves squad. However, he did share the pitch with Alonso on the odd occasion and, even though he was playing out of position at the time, Alonso could see the talent the Brazilian international possessed.

“He came to Madrid and you could see that technically he was very good, physically he was very good, but he was playing right-back.

“I think that he can play everywhere because of his understanding of the game and he is able to read what’s going to happen and how he wants to do it, but I think the step he made in Monaco was beautiful.

“Playing that midfield role, he’s able to connect to the close ones, to the farther ones and I really like the way he plays: his understanding of the game, he’s involved in the game, taking the small decisions but ticking in all of the moments and I think that’s the job of a midfielder.”

Fabinho’s transfer from Monaco last summer was one of the best-kept secrets in modern football with his signing announced the day after Liverpool’s Champions League final loss to Real Madrid in Kyiv. No-one seemed to be aware that The Reds were even interested in signing the Monaco midfielder until the club released the image of Fabinho signing his Liverpool contract.

Whether any more such surprises are in store for us over the coming days, weeks or months remains to be seen.

At 24, Fabinho is sure to have a long and successful Reds career ahead of him.

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