He only ever wanted to play football at the top level. He dreamed of winning glittering prizes. And ply his trade and collect medals, in particular, for Liverpool. So, when Fabinho made his move to Anfield from AS Monaco at the beginning of last summer, he could at least start to see his vision materialising.
But, for one reason or another, the Brazilian ace didn’t feature for Jurgen Klopp’s side as much as he might have hoped. Adjustments had to be made, of course, both on the pitch and in terms of integrating at a new club, in a new country. Slowly but surely the hard-working midfielder started to feature in the plans of the Kop boss.
And his season concluded as a resounding success when he played a hugely influential role as the mighty Reds beat disappointing Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the Champions League final in Madrid earlier this month. Yes, he and his team-mates had missed out on the Premier League title — which the Anfield giants have never won — but they had their hands on Europe’s biggest prize — and for a sixth time, too!
Reflecting on his season, the £40million capture, who is aged 25, told the official Liverpool website:
“Overall I think my first season at Liverpool was good. In my first season I knew there would be a learning and settling-in period. I went through this. It didn’t last that long but I remember it wasn’t easy starting afresh, I was left out for a few matches.
“Even though I was telling myself that I needed to work hard and be patient, it’s not easy being out of the team. But that’s in the past now, I started playing more. The more you play, the more you can enjoy your football. I think I became an important part of the team, I gave the manager another option he could depend upon. So, I think it was a really good season.”
Meanwhile, Klopp looks like he will waste little time in adding to his squad as her prepares for the new season and the challenges that it will present. And one of his supposed targets is said to be Real Madrid’s attacking midfielder Marco Asensio — aged 23 — who is reportedly available for around £85million.
The fee would use up a large chunk of the transfer budget being made available to the German coach but with a galaxy of stars having proved they are up for the task, he wouldn’t want to disrupt his squad too much — and adding one or two might just fit the bill. The Spain international, who has been capped by his country 22 times, is said to be unsettled in Madrid and would welcome a move to Merseyside.