Big players step up when it matters. That’s exactly what Fabinho is doing for Liverpool week in, week out and the Brazilian midfielder has emerged as one of Jurgen Klopp’s guaranteed starters. But is the former Monaco man now the Red’s most important player?
Fabinho, 26, for the second consecutive match at Anfield, was undoubtedly the best player on the pitch. His exuberance and authority in the middle of the park frustrated Manchester City from start-to-finish as Liverpool emerged 3-1 victors to move nine points clear of the Premier League champions.
Not only is Fabinho’s presence being obvious for all to see, but his end product is coming on leaps and bounds as well. The former Real Madrid star opened his goal-scoring account for the season with a fine strike to put the European champions in the ascendancy inside 10 minutes.
It certainly takes a special player to cause such a juggernaut force so many problems. The Premier League holders simply couldn’t get past the Brazil international.
Fabinho’s influence isn’t only being showcased on the field but off it as well. Rewind to last week and Klopp opted not to risk his holding midfielder who was one booking away from a suspension. Liverpool produced arguably one of their worst performances of the season despite recording yet another vital three points against Aston Villa.
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The absence of the Reds No.3 meant the void of the holding role was targeted by the Villans and it certainly took time for Liverpool to adapt. With Fabinho in the mix, there is always a calming presence from minute one.
Fabinho is now by far Liverpool’s most complete midfielder and, with more goals to his game, he could emerge an unstoppable force. No Reds team has had such a composed and reliable holding midfielder since the late ’80s and the mantle for a world-class engine in the midfield is certainly being occupied by the indispensable Brazilian.
When a team is already eight points clear of all their title rivals and still competing on all fronts, it is quite hard to pinpoint one outstanding player. Each of Klopp’s carefully oiled ‘mentality monsters’ have played a huge role this season, but none have seen such a gargantuan rise in performance than Fabinho.
With only a third of the Premier League season played, if Fabinho can keep up this devastating form, it is going to take something special to stop the Reds ending 30 years of hurt and delivering a first league title since 1990.