Date published: Monday 26th October 2020 9:50
Liverpool star Fabinho says new signing Thiago Alcantara can change the perception of the Reds midfield this season.
The Spanish international has been an instant hit since his recent move from Bayern Munich.
He was superb when coming off the bench in 2-0 win at Chelsea. And his class also shone through in the 2-2 derby draw at Everton.
However, a red-card foul from Richarlison meant Thiago has been forced to sit the last two games out.
His absence shouldn’t last too long and Fabinho can’t wait to see the £25million summer signing back in action.
The Brazilian has been part of a Reds midfield praised for its industry rather than its artistry. But he says Thiago will change that.
Fabinho told the Liverpool Echo: “It’s true [that] competition for places is high in midfield.
“Ever since I arrived here, the midfield is where the manager rotates the most in games.
“Maybe it’s because it is where the players have to put in the most effort, run the most kilometres during games.
“Our squad is very strong but we know that the signing of quality players is a plus for this team.
“Thiago’s arrival will be really positive and he’s a player coming from an exceptional season at Bayern Munich last year.
“He’s an experienced player who inspires confidence given everything he has achieved.
“He can also add something to our team, something we didn’t have before. The quality of his passing is exceptional.
“He’s someone that receives the ball really well between the lines. So I think his arrival, both his and Diogo Jota’s, are going to be really important for us.”
Squad depth will be key, says Fabinho
Fabinho has had to vacate his usual holding midfielder spot to help out in defence.
The long-term injury to Virgil van Dijk has led to Jurgen Klopp drafting in the Brazilian as a centre-back partner for Joe Gomez.
The two are already showing signs that they can make it work. And Fabinho says it’s vital that Liverpool have different options to use all over the pitch.
“It’s important that we have this depth in the squad and players of a high quality to cope,” he said.
“This has also given opportunities for players who have come from the youth team, players who have been prepared to come into the team in the way they are coached and the way they play.
“To have this depth in the squad is good for us players and for the manager.”
Klopp showed just that in the 1-0 Champions League win over Ajax. He gave a start to youngster Curtis Jones and later brought on teenage centre-back Rhys Williams.
He raised further eyebrows when hooking all of Liverpool’s famed front three on the hour mark.
Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino were replaced by Takumi Minamino, Xherdan Shaqiri and Jota. And the trio all brought new energy for the closing stages.