Fabinho and Liverpool agreed to a new contract on Tuesday. This is arguably their most important piece of business this summer.
And with that, Liverpool tie-up arguably their most important deal of the summer. Fabinho only had two years left on his deal but this secures him throughout his prime years.
Those are incredibly important years, too. Fabinho is one of the very few star players at Liverpool who isn’t moving out of his prime.
The likes of Virgil van Dijk, Jordan Henderson, Thiago, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are all at least 29. The first three are now 30.
Their long-term futures are all debatable. Will Van Dijk recover from his injury to be the same player for the next few years? Can both Henderson and Thiago shrug off injury concerns or will they get worse?
And just how will age affect Liverpool’s front-three? Are they all capable of adapting to a loss of pace and energy?
We’re not saying that those five will all crumble now they’re past 30. All face questions, though, and there’s a good chance that several aren’t at the top level in two or three years.
Fabinho, though, is an elite, experienced player who should still be fantastic for the next five years. His position, defensive midfield, isn’t one that spits players out by 32.
In fact, the Brazilian may find he gets better with experience. He doesn’t rely on his speed, nor his ability to charge about the pitch. Fabinho thrives on his positioning and discipline – two traits that age generally improves.
So in a lot of ways, this is the most important business Liverpool can do this summer. They’re securing a world-class player for his entire prime, who already knows the club inside out and may even improve.
That’s more important than ever as several teammates move towards their twilight years.
Whatever the Reds are paying Fabinho, it’s worth it.