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Has Fabinho swapped regular playing time for the Liverpool bench?

Monday 10th September 2018

In a bid to play for the biggest clubs in the world, some players readily sacrifice a lot than they let on. In the case of Fabinho, he’s left guaranteed playing time with AS Monaco for a lesser guaranteed position at Liverpool. 

Even before the end of 2017-18, Liverpool had a formidable midfield. Still, they had to reinforce like every big club (except Tottenham) would. Two big money signings headlined the transfer window for the Reds. Naby Keita joined from RB Leipzig for £53million. Fabinho cost the Merseysiders £14million less. Both middle-of-the-park footballers.

Indeed Emre Can left Liverpool for Juventus this summer, still, the addition of both Fabinho and Keita heightened the competition in Liverpool’s midfield. Not even skipper Jordan Henderson is certain of regular minutes. Fabinho must’ve known – he was going to face a challenge in England. He made the jump regardless.

Tireless midfielders are highly sought-after in the Premier League. The unfair advantage a player like N’Golo Kante can give has alerted scouts to seek players of such quality. Fabinho can be correctly classified as one of such. In 2013, the South American forced his way into European football with his all-action but a highly technical style of football. His versatility also stood him out – the Brazilian showed he could play comfortably at right-back or any position in midfield.

Over the past couple of season, Fabinho shone at the Principality. Yet he remained loyal to his five-year employers. Among the high-fliers of Monaco’s 2016-17 squad, the former Real Madrid loanee is the last to leave Les Monégasques. Maybe it was inevitable. Fabinho’s stellar performances had put a longstanding target on his back. 

Despite featuring predominantly in the midfield base, the new Liverpool No. 3 poached 29 goals during his time with Monaco. That’s an eye for goal better than his contemporaries can say for themselves.

At this point, it’s cliché to say Fabinho is a fine footballer. But can we say the same for his move to Liverpool? 

The best footballers want to play in the best clubs. There’s nothing wrong with that. Besides their notoriety for following the money trail, Brazilian footballers are incredibly ambitious. Somehow they always find their way to the biggest football clubs around. That’s probably what has led Fabinho to Liverpool. 

Last season he played 47 times for Monaco and scored eight times. In terms of stats, Fabinho had a pass accuracy of 86% in the League producing three assists in the process. Obviously, the man was key for Monaco in every sense of the word. Now at Anfield – where he has better competition than Kevin N’Doram and Joao Moutinho – Fabinho hasn’t started a competitive game since his summer transfer. Liverpool has played four in the League. Of those, he didn’t make the matchday squad in the last three.

Changing a winning team is as rare as stumbling on a herd of white elephants. You can assume that Jurgen Klopp wouldn’t. His team has a 100% winning start to the campaign and he’ll hope to maintain it. Of course, he’ll count on his boys to continue their rich vein of form when they return from the break. Players not in the team before that will most likely to remain on the fringes. That includes Fabinho. 

The upside of joining Liverpool remains glaring for Fabinho. Unexpectedly, he got an invitation to the Brazil national team. Tite didn’t look his way before the World Cup despite his heroics with Leonardo Jardim’s side. All that has changed with one big move to England.  However, there’s one phenomenon that’ll keep the invites coming. 

“But what's really going to help is that I play and play very often for my club. I hope to have a sequence of games to continue in the Selecao.” – Fabinho per Mirror.

For Liverpool, there are many games to be played this term, but Fabinho can’t expect to play for the Reds as much as he did for Monaco. The 24-year-Old must play the waiting game for now.

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Kingsley Ukpai

Kingsley is a football aficionado who craves to read, watch, play and write about the greatest team sport ever known to man. If you're talking football he'll be keen to listen to what you have to say. Loves to play Fantasy Football too.

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