Fabinho has often been a reliable source of quality for Jurgen Klopp’s first-XI since his move away from Monaco, though the German has yet to get the best out of his ‘lighthouse’ in 2022/23.
James Pearce noted that the Brazilian international (signed for £43.7m in 2018 (Sky Sports)) is struggling to deliver when it comes to his prize trait of spotting and dealing with danger on the pitch.
“Fabinho is just nowhere near the Fabinho that we’ve come to expect and admire so much throughout his Liverpool career,” The Athletic journalist told The Red Agenda podcast.
“That is a concern that’s just growing to be honest because Fabinho again was unable to stamp his authority on that game.
“I don’t know what it is with him, it’s difficult to put your finger on it. It’s just mistakes that we’re not used to seeing him make, it’s a lack of energy at times it feels to get around the pitch. Where he was so good previously at spotting danger and dealing with it that doesn’t seem to be happening.”
It does explain, in large part, why the backline has been left so exposed this term with the midfield the biggest source of criticism for the Reds.
You have to think that a player of Fabinho’s sheer, undeniable quality will recapture his best form eventually.
The fact that we are 11 games into the Premier League season and the 29-year-old has yet to show any sign of consistency should be setting off alarm bells.
Though the lack of available options to sub in for the holding midfielder does leave Klopp in a difficult position when it comes to replacing the kind of quality we’ve come to expect.
At the very least, the return of Thiago Alcantara on Wednesday, following his recovery from an ear infection, will provide a welcome injection of brilliance into a midfield in sore need of it.