On this day in 2018, Liverpool signed Fabinho from AS Monaco for £39million and he has been a beacon of light for a previously weak side defensively.
Many people attribute the strength of Liverpool’s defence solely to Virgil van Dijk and while it’s easy to understand why, it is entirely unfair on a number of players.
The Dutchman has been otherworldly at the back for the Reds but Joel Matip, Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Andy Robertson have all been crucial this season.
Fabinho, however, has been particularly unique in the attributes that he has brought to the Liverpool lineup.
In the past, Jordan Henderson and Emre Can shared the responsibility of protecting a weak back five with varying success but neither can claim to be as competent in the no.6 role as Fabinho can.
The 25-year-old Brazilian brings steel, intelligence, mobility and a progressive style of play to the holding midfield role that hasn’t been seen at Anfield for many years.
He has been compared to Javier Mascherano but the comparisons should end at the fact that the Argentinian was a quality defensive midfielder.
Fabinho is far more composed on the ball in tricky situations and is able to contribute more meaningfully in the final third of play.
Jurgen Klopp has signed several players for what are now considered to be low price tags but Fabinho will surely go down as one of the most important steals when he eventually ends his reign as Liverpool boss.