Gary Neville admits his initial doubts over Fabinho’s ability to adjust to life in the Premier League have been diminished.
The Liverpool summer signing has flourished in his midfield role in recent weeks after enduring a tough introduction to English football.
Fabinho was not involved for the Reds’ first eight Premier League games of the season as Jurgen Klopp opted to ease him into a significant change in intensity.
He has since played the full 90 minutes in seven of the last 10 league outings to establish himself as a key figure in his side’s title challenge.
This included a Man of the Match performance in last weekend’s 3-1 win over Manchester United, in which he produced a sublime assist for Sadio Mane’s opener.
Discussing the former Monaco man on Sky Sports, Neville said: “He got a little bit of criticism a few games ago, against Arsenal, when he didn’t do to well.”
“I had wondered whether he would adapt to the pace but last week against Manchester United he was fantastic.”
He added: “What I liked about him was sometimes you see a defensive midfield player and they play horizontally, the shuffle across horizontally, they pass horizontally. He actually moved up the pitch.”
“He was up in the game, backing up at the edge of the box. His pass for the first goal was absolutely fantastic, cut United open.”
Fabinho demonstrated his attacking influence again in Friday’s 2-0 win over Wolves when he pulled his cross back for Mohamed Salah’s clinical opener after making a bursting run to the byline.
With the exception of a few misplaced passes, the Brazilian recorded yet another solid display to help his side cement top spot at Christmas.
He proved key in both exploiting the hosts’ wing-back system with swift and regular switches of the play, as well as serving as a vital disruption to Wolves’ counterattacking ambitions.
It’s becoming increasingly clear he will offer Liverpool so much more than mere defensive protection.