Klopp says £44m Liverpool star was playing terribly, but he's now back to his best

Jurgen Klopp has expressed his relief at having Liverpool midfielder Fabinho shake off his poor form.

Fabinho has seemingly been one of the Reds players most affected by their dismal drop in performance this season. But after months of struggling, his recent displays have been much improved.

Asked during his pre-Manchester United press conference whether Fabinho was now getting back to his best, Klopp agreed that he most surely is.

“He is, it’s obvious. When I spoke about it it’s a bit strange, I said Fab was not at his best, everyone was like ‘oh he said it.’ Everyone could see it, so why should I not say the obvious stuff. Now everyone can see that Fab is getting back, that’s exactly what we need,” beamed the Reds boss.

“I was so happy about the last game of Fabinho’s so happy. So many things were exactly like we need him, bringing the long foot in here and all these kinds of things, it was a really good game and that’s exactly how we used to have him. The lighthouse, the hoover, all these kinds of things.

“There’s a point where you take things for granted, you lose the ball and there’s no problem – there is Fabinho and we have the ball again. Of course you miss him in these moments where he’s not there, how can you be prepared for that. It’s not cool and we don’t have five No.6’s in the club, so it’s really, really good, I’m really happy for him and happy for us that he looks really like the old one again.”

Fabinho back to his old self

Since the return of the Premier League after the World Cup, Fabinho has been steadily improving. That culminated in a really good display against Wolves on Wednesday. Winning the ball high up the pitch and screening in-front of the back four, it looked the player we’ve seen so often since his £44m move in 2018.

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

If he can maintain that kind of form for the rest of the season, it will be an enormous help for Liverpool. Not only will it improve their chances of a top four finish, it will also mean they don’t need to plug that gap in the summer window.

Throughout the season, there has been a worry that Fabinho could be ‘finished’ at just twenty-nine. With the rest of the midfield already in need of a rebuild, this would surely have to be addressed in the summer. As Klopp says, he doesn’t have an abundance of like-for-like replacements in such a crucial position.

As a result, Fabinho returning to his best could have a longer-term impact, too. With him back flying at the base of a revamped midfield, Liverpool would suddenly look a completely different proposition.

Bigger tests to the one on Wednesday await Fab and Liverpool. If he can come through the next five games displaying the same kind of form, we can definitely declare his strange dip in form to be over. Good to have you back, Fab!

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