Since October for Wednesday night’s clash against RB Leipzig, the Brazilian was back at No.6 for the first time and put in the kind of assured midfield performance the Reds have been missing for the majority of the season.
Signed from Monaco in a £39million deal ahead of the 2018/19 campaign, has established himself as one of the leading defensive midfielders in European football.
Fabinho has played a big role for the Reds this season as a makeshift centre-half, moving into the back-four ever since Virgil van Dijk was ruled out for the season.
But it was his restoration to the midfield that helped get Liverpool over the line in their last-16 tie, as he was named man-of-the-match in another 2-0 victory against the Germans, going through to the last eight with a 4-0 aggregate win.
The 27-year-old, who was used sparingly by Jurgen Klopp during the early stages of his career at Anfield.
The manager said he would love to give him his wish, branding Fabinho ‘one of the best in his position in the world’.
“I told him on the way downstairs, ‘you like the position six more then’? He said, ‘yeah’, and you couldn’t show it more clearly,” said the Reds boss.
“We all want Fab on the six. Tonight he played there and the two centre-halves played an incredible game, to be honest.
“It was my hope for the season and during the season [to play Fabinho in midfield] but it didn’t happen so we have to see what solutions we can find for the next few games.
And it wasn’t only fans who were pleased to see Fabinho back in midfield, with Michael Owen hailing the Brazilian for his ‘comforting’ display as he gave Liverpool what they have been missing throughout this tough campaign.
“It is so comforting watching him,” Owen said on BT Sport. “When he is in the middle you feel safe.
“It is so comforting having him back in his right position. It is just how you want a sitting midfielder, he covers the back two which is the weak part of the team.”
Jemma Lucy ( Editor Newspresslive)