Liverpool’s Brazilian midfielder Fabinho has been reflecting on his first season at Anfield under Jurgen Klopp and how after a brief settling-in period he has gone from strength to strength.
The former AS Monaco player’s signature was announced just over a year ago, 24 hours after The Reds had fallen to Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Kyiv.
As with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain before him, Klopp and his backroom team looked to integrate Fabinho very gradually into the Liverpool first-team setup.
Fabinho says that this slow transition period was something he expected after a move from Ligue 1 to England.
“Overall I think my first season at Liverpool was good. In my first season, I knew there would be a learning and settling-in period. I went through this.
“It didn’t last that long but I remember it wasn’t easy starting afresh, I was left out for a few matches.
“Even though I was telling myself that I needed to work hard and be patient, it’s not easy being out of the team. But that’s in the past now, I started playing more.
“The more you play, the more you can enjoy your football. I think I became an important part of the team, I gave the manager another option he could depend upon. So I think it was a really good season.”
Fabinho’s role in the current Liverpool team has given players like Jordan Henderson licence to roam in more of a box-to-box midfield role. However, it’s another player who has caught the eye of Fabinho in his first year at Anfield.
“Sadio Mane is a genuinely impressive player, he’s tireless, playing in every game with such high levels of intensity and concentration.
“His technical ability goes without saying, he always makes a difference for us.
“He’s a complete player – he gives you the option of a short pass or a long ball, he contributes to the build-up and creation of play as well. He’s a great player in amazing form, which is really important for his confidence.
“Off the pitch, I chat with him quite a bit as we both speak French, my French is still better than my English. He’s a great lad. Sadio has been a really important player for us this season.”
Fabinho can look forward to a huge season ahead of him now that he knows what’s expected of him by Klopp.
The defensive midfielder is likely to underpin any potential successes this Liverpool team achieves over the next few seasons at least.
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