Respected journalist Chris Bascombe, who works as a correspondent for the Telegraph, has argued that it’s time for Naby Keita and Fabinho to be let off the leash.
We spent nearly £100m on the pair during the summer, but combined, their good performances could fit on one hand.
Keita has struggled with injuries which have stunted his progression into the side, while Fabinho has only come into contention in the past month, with Jurgen Klopp keen to ease him in gently – but the fact neither were involved in a key Champions League away game (even from the bench) speaks volumes…
Here’s what Bascombe had to say about the pair:
“It could be argued Klopp has over-protected summer recruits Naby Keita and Fabinho. Liverpool need the pair to start delivering. They did not cost £96 million to spend tough Champions League away days on the bench, but their early form has been well below what was anticipated. That Klopp did not have the confidence to use either was a further sign he wants the pair to acclimatise to his team’s style for a while longer.”
We think he’s spot on, to be fair. Both have shown glimpses, but they arrived at the beginning of summer, had a whole pre-season with the manager, and should be showing more.
That comes with being given opportunities by Klopp, but it’s hard to argue either have warranted many at the same time.
In terms of attributes, both Keita and Fabinho can offer our midfield plenty. The former drives with the ball, can pass, dribble and shoot; while the Brazilian is a destroyer and a real physical presence.
Against Fulham on Sunday, we want to see the duo in the starting XI, although reckon it might be Jordan Henderson alongside Naby Keita, with Xherdan Shaqiri slightly ahead.