By William Hill
29th May 2018
The news that Liverpool have completed the signing of Monaco midfielder Fabinho is a timely positive note in the wake of their Champions League final defeat, but what implications does the Brazilian’s arrival have for his new employers?
Fabinho is currently 5/6 to make over 31.5 Premier League appearances for the Anfield side in 2018/19, while he’s also 5/6 to net over 4.5 goals in the top flight next term.
Emre Can can finally make the jump to Juventus
It seems like the German international’s contract impasse with Liverpool has lasted an eternity, but the signing of Fabinho should finally bring what has been a frustrating sideshow to a close.
Fabinho, the one-man squad depth enhancer
The midfielder’s versatility means that in bringing one man, the Reds have beefed-up their squad across three different roles.
The 24-year-old broke through at Monaco while playing as a right-back and performed well enough in the position to be linked with a move to Manchester United during 2016/17.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been quick to talk up the Brazilian’s versatility since his signing was announced, stating, in typically Kloppish fashion: “he has ability and mentality to play at the highest level in a number of positions. He can play ‘6’, ‘8’ and ‘2’. This is cool.”
He [Fabinho] has ability and mentality to play at the highest level in a number of positions. He can play ‘6’, ‘8’ and ‘2’. This is cool.
Midfield hierarchy in flux
The likely departure of Can, along with the arrivals of Fabinho and RB Leipzig’s Naby Keita will mean working out how Liverpool’s midfield lines up next season is quite the conundrum.
Klopp’s new purchases will join James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Georginio Wijnaldum in competition for starting places.
The expectedly outgoing Can averaged more tackles per league outing (2.6) than any other player in the Liverpool side in 2017/18.
Meanwhile, just four players averaged more tackles per game in Ligue 1 last season than Fabinho (3.4), so his presence in the XI as a midfield ball winner looks highly likely.
Liverpool are getting their business done early
Concluding an early deal for Fabinho feels like a promising beginning to Liverpool’s summer of transfer dealings in that it suggests his arrival was planned rather than a reactionary response to Can’s departure.
Along with the long-ago decided arrival of Keita, it indicates the club are moving to eliminate question marks over their squad prior to the World Cup, which bodes well for a settled and focused pre-season.