Fabinho came through another tough audition on Sunday to stake his claim for an extended run in the team over Christmas.
The Brazilian made his sixth start of the season as the Reds snatched a remarkable win in the Merseyside derby thanks to Divock Origi’s 96th minute goal.
Everton’s attacking ambitions proved a welcomed test for Liverpool’s summer signing in his bid to impress in place of the suspended Jordan Henderson.
His aggression in the high press stood out in particular on the day and shed more light on Jurgen Klopp’s original attraction to him. He also conducted himself well against a blend of energy and finesse from the Toffees’ midfield duo of Idrissa Gueye and André Gomes.
The former Monaco man won more tackles than any other player in the game with six, and boasted a pass success rate of 86%, per WhoScored.com. He also covered a team-high distance of 11.44 kilometres, according to the Times.
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The 25-year-old is now in need of the kind of increase in playing time that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was eventually granted after a relatively slow start to life at Anfield.
He needs a run of games to not only complete his adjustment to Liverpool’s system and approach but also to use as a springboard off which to build some consistency.
Wednesday’s clash with Burnley is perhaps a more favourable fixture in which to earn another start than Saturday’s visit to face an impressive Bournemouth side.
It’s up to him, as well as Naby Keita, to start giving the likes of skipper Jordan Henderson and James Milner a difficult route into the first eleven.
Until Reds see him play across a run of games, it is difficult to judge just how valuable he can be moving forward.