Once again, Fabinho was a key part to Liverpool’s victory over Crystal Palace. The Reds kept another clean sheet in their professional 3-0 victory over Patrick Vieira’s men.
Fabinho: The Underrated Star in Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool Side
How instrumental is Fabinho?
He quickly emerged as a top player after his move to Monaco, after a loan spell with Real Madrid. After starting as a right-back, he transitioned into midfield and took his game to new levels. His importance to ‘that’ Monaco team that reached the 2016/17 Champions League Semi-Final, helped earn Fabinho his transfer to Liverpool in 2018.
Last season (2020/21) saw Liverpool struggle while defending their Premier League crown. Their drop off in form correlated with Fabinho dropping into defence. The results didn’t come about from inexperience/defensive mistakes from a makeshift back line. In his defence, he seamlessly took to a new position in an injury crisis and ended up being one of Liverpool’s best players last season.
When Fabinho has started in midfield, Liverpool have won over 77% of their games, picking up almost 2.5 points a game. Compare that to without him in midfield, the Reds have won around 67% of games, and picked up on average just over two points a game. (As per Planet Football).
His ability to win the ball back high up the field and set Liverpool on the attack is vital to their brand of ‘heavy metal football.’ He offers stability to the back line, while allowing the other midfielders around him freedom.
The Lighthouse in Midfield
The Brazillian number six has had recent performances noted by Liverpool fans. He picked up back-to-back Man of the Match awards on Liverpool’s social media. The first came for his goal and clean sheet against Leeds. He then followed that up with another Man of the Match award with a solid display in a thrilling Champions League tie with AC Milan.
Jurgen Klopp has used multiple midfield combinations already this season and in previous seasons. However, Fabinho seems to always be there, showing how Klopp knows how vital he is to the Liverpool side, making over 100 appearances already in all competitions.
His importance can be summed up perfectly by a quote from Liverpool Assistant Manager Pepijn Lijnders. Back in 2019 he referred to the midfielder as Liverpool’s ‘lighthouse.’ The definition of a lighthouse is: a tower or other structure containing a beacon light to warn or guide ships at sea. A nickname that’s hard to argue with when you watch his game closely.
In a recent video with Lad Bible, Sky Sports Pundit Jamie Carragher dubbed him the ‘best in the league in that position.’ Yet it still seems he doesn’t get the wider recognition he deserves…
As per the Premier League website, Fabinho is yet to make an error that leads to a goal. On top of this, he’s won more duels than he’s lost, winning 445 in his 90 appearances. The Brazilian has made 185 tackles in that time, while winning more aerial duels than he has lost. In his Premier League career, Fabinho has made 506 recoveries, which is an average of over 5.5 a game.
Despite what some rival fans may say, the stats prove that Fabinho is one of, if not the best defensive midfielder in the world.
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