Jurgen Klopp says it could take half a season for Fabinho to get up to scratch tactically to perform in Liverpool’s midfield.
The Brazilian has so far played about 2 minutes of competitive football for us, coming off the bench in our 3-2 victory over PSG.
He’s expected to start the EFL Cup game tonight against Chelsea, but unless he puts in a seriously world-class performance, we imagine he’ll be back on the bench for the Premier League tie at Stamford Bridge.
Klopp has tried to explain why the summer signing has so far been used so little, intimating that he needs to fully understand Liverpool’s patterns of play before he’s fully entrusted with the no.6 role.
“It’s not really difficult. It’s just because it is so quick and so intense. It needs to be natural,” he told the Mirror.
“To improve something, you need half a year to make the next step. That’s it. We are not changing these players. We are not changing their football personality. They are here because they did what they did.
“So that’s it. They always need time. They were all used to other football teams.
“It is about possession. It is about spaces and defensively closing them, offensively using them. It is just a football team with a specific way of playing.
“I’ll give you an example, there was a very famous one here: Phil Coutinho, half to the left then inside and boom! Nice shot! But for this to be really dangerous you need someone else making the run on the outside on the left. Things like this, you explain a little bit. There is no time frame where you say, ‘You have to do that or that.’
“For these three, four, five weeks it is only football, an intense period.”
We’re not at all worried about Fabinho. If you remember, it took Andy Robertson until December to get into the side last season. The Scot is now one of the first names on our team-sheet and is on the road to being a world-class left-back.
Fabinho has already showed world-class credentials in the Champions League for AS Monaco, but the holding midfield role requires unbelievable tactical discipline.
In France, he played in a two-man midfield, while at Liverpool he’ll nearly always play in a three.