In a new series of articles, FantasySports.co.uk will analyse the likely formation and performance impact that players would have on some of the Premier League’s greatest clubs. Today, we ask the question: ‘How will Monaco player Fabinho fit in at Liverpool?’
Our analysis series is to assist Fantasy Premier League managers in understanding the impact Fabinho could have next season in the English top-flight.
Analysis: How will Monaco player Fabinho fit in at Liverpool?
Liverpool have officially announced the signing of Fabinho from Monaco. The 24-year-old comes to Liverpool with a reputation for being one of the most dynamic and versatile players in France’s Ligue 1. Now a Reds player, Fantasy Premier League managers are asking how will Fabinho fit into Jurgen Klopp’s team?
Fabinho is Emre Can’s exact replacement, but offers the club so much more than his German counterpart. Fabinho’s versatility makes him a player that can play in three positions. Defensive midfield, full-back or centre-back. All three areas are positions Liverpool have needed to upgrade, although the full-back positions now look in good hands with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson.
Liverpool final have a defensive midfielder
The Brazilian played 34 Ligue 1 games for Monaco in 2017-18. All 34 games saw Fabinho deployed in central midfield. According to WhoScored.com, Fabinho played 26 matches as a defensive midfielder. The defensive midfield position is one that Liverpool has desperately needed to fill since the departure of Javier Mascherano in 2010.
The team’s central defence has lacked a player that can give protection to the back line. Fabinho now offers that protection and can be the ball winning central midfielder Klopp deploys next to Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita in 2018-19.
During his 26 matches as a defensive midfielder, Fabinho tallied six goals and one assist. Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim played the Brazilian in a more attacking role 13 times during the Ligue 1 season. Fabinho scored once and added two assists.
Defensively, Fabinho averaged 3.4 tackles and 1.3 interceptions in league play. His tackles per game stat was far superior than Liverpool’s top tackler Can. The German averaged 2.6 tackles per match, according to WhoScored.com.
Klopp’s reaction to Fabinho
“He has ability and mentality to play at the highest level in a number of positions. He can play ‘six’, ‘eight’ and ‘two’. This is cool,” Klopp said.
Fabinho is also excited about joining Liverpool.
“A football club of this size coming after my services, I didn’t have to think that much about coming over,” Fabinho said.
“I will try to create my own history at this football club. Hopefully, on a personal level, I’m able to win titles with this club.”
Fabinho only registered eight yellow cards in 34 Ligue 1 matches. His total shows a player that is capable of being aggressive, but avoids clashes with opposing players.
Monaco preferred a 4-2-3-1 formation. It is a formation Klopp played at Borussia Dortmund. However, the German has favoured a 4-3-3 since arriving at Liverpool. Fabinho’s addition could see a shift in the way Liverpool play. A combination of Fabinho and Henderson as holding midfielders with Naby Keita playing in front of them could be on the cards for next term. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane would then be deployed on the wings with Roberto Firmino as the No. 9.
Klopp could continue with his 4-3-3 with Keita, Henderson and Fabinho as the midfield three while playing Salah, Mane and Firmino in the attack. Regardless of how Klopp deploys the team, Liverpool supporters and Fantasy Premier League managers should be excited about Fabinho in the English top-flight.