Fabinho is having a growing influence on the Liverpool FC team after a slow start to his Anfield career, according to Stephen Warnock.
The Brazil international was named in Jurgen Klopp’s starting line up for the visit of bitter rivals Manchester United last weekend after James Milner suffered an injury in training ahead of the north west derby.
Fabinho justified his inclusion with an influential performance in the middle of the park alongside Georginio Wijnaldum and Naby Keita as the Liverpool FC trio dominated their Manchester United opponents.
The 25-year-old produced a brilliant assist for Sadio Mane’s opening goal after the summer signing lifted a pass over the Manchester United defence and into the path of the Senegal international.
Fabinho touched the ball 84 times and finished with a pass completion of 79 per cent as the South American dominated the middle of the park.
Former Liverpool FC defender Warnock was impressed with Fabinho’s performance.
“Fabinho could not even get in the Liverpool team until a few weeks ago, but his performance in Sunday’s win over Manchester United was a demonstration of his growing influence on Jurgen Klopp’s side,” Warnock told BBC Sport.
“I see his role for the Premier League leaders as being a specialist position, and it is one he does extremely well.
“The Brazil midfielder sees passes and reads play very well, which is why he is very good at using his long legs to make interceptions.
“He is not afraid to put his foot in and make tackles either and he has already adapted to the physicality of the English game.
“But the really impressive thing about him against United was his passing, which was a part of his game I had been unsure about following his £39m move from Monaco in the summer.”
Fabinho teed up Salah for his opener in a 2-0 win against Wolves on Friday night to ensure Liverpool FC secured top spot for Christmas Day.
Klopp has used Fabinho sparingly since his £40m move to Liverpool FC from Ligue 1 side AS Monaco in the summer.
But the Liverpool FC manager’s patient approach appears to be paying dividends at a crucial time of the season.
And Warnock heaped praise on Klopp for his handling of the summer signing.
Warnock added: “Klopp has managed him very carefully over the past few months, in a similar way to how Andy Robertson had to wait to get into the team last season. Klopp does not pick you until you are ready.
“Fabinho was always going to have to play at some point because of injuries, and because of Liverpool’s high-tempo style of play.
“When he did come in the important thing was for him to show he has listened to Klopp and understands what he wants – and, against United, he did everything that was asked of him.”
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