When Liverpool signed Fabinho from AS Monaco FC, no one could have predicted just how good he would be.
The Brazilian midfielder has been a dazzling addition, extending the team’s defensive strengths to the middle of the park.
Here we look at how Fabinho helped Liverpool bring the Champions League trophy back to Anfield.
The First in a Decade
Liverpool’s last consistently reliable holding midfielder was Javier Mascherano back in 2010. Almost a decade ago.
Since then Liverpool have struggled to find a permanent replacement for the Argentinean.
An ageing Lucas Leiva and an out-of-position Jordan Henderson were tasked with filling the void.
However, it seems as if Liverpool’s defensive midfield sorrows may be resolved for the foreseeable future.
Fabinhos debut season has proved that he is the man to inherit the number 6 role.
Breaking Into the First Eleven
Although it now seems unthinkable, Fabinho didn’t initially start every game for Liverpool.
Shaky performances away at Arsenal and at home to Chelsea in the Caraboa cup, had Reds fans questioning if Jurgen Klopp had signed the right man.
These criticisms, however, were soon put to bed. Fabinho finally established himself as a first-team player in a 3-1 win over bitter rivals Manchester United back in December.
A crucial opening assist and a dominant performance had Liverpool fans eager for more of the same.
Thankfully, similar performances just kept coming. Only consistency and marvel followed, helping Fabinho secure his place in Liverpool’s starting eleven.
Champions League Stardom
Fabinho was crucial in aiding Liverpool to their sixth Champions League trophy.
Stand out games for the Brazilian came against Bayern Munich away, at home against Red Star Belgrade and that unforgettable semi-final second leg against Barcelona.
The 25-year-old was an integral part of stopping Lionel Messi from producing his normal antics and running riot at Anfield.
Fabinho was also at hand in Madrid to help beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 to bring the famous trophy back to Anfield.
Overall Fabinhos debut season has been excellent. The Brazilian has helped Liverpool win their first major trophy since 2005 and conducted the Reds to their record tally of points in the Premier League.
It seems as if Liverpool’s past defensive midfield leaks have been fixed for years to come. Fabinho, Liverpool’s Brazilian Bulldozer.