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Fabinho history suggests Liverpool will be handed further midfield boost



Liverpool put four goals past Crystal Palace on last week to take them to 102 in all competitions this season.

Opta noted that they’ve broken the century mark for the third season in a row, achieving this feat for the first time since 1986/87.

The sensational scoring records of the club’s established front three players obviously plays a huge part in this. Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have collectively contributed exactly half of the champion’s goal tally in 2019/20.


Add in the 15 goals they’ve assisted for other members of the squad, and two-thirds of Liverpool’s goals have had some input from the attacking trio.

The other main creative threat comes from the full-backs, who have assisted or scored another 11 goals which have not involved Firmino, Mane and Salah.

Liverpool could benefit from a greater contribution from elsewhere, particularly when one-or-more of their most potent attacking quintet is absent.

Salah and Andy Robertson both missed the recent derby at Goodison Park and – while correlation is not automatically causation – Jurgen Klopp’s team created very little of note.

With this in mind, should Fabinho offer more to the side’s attack? He showed against Palace that he’s capable of providing more than he has for the club. The Brazilian played a sublime through-ball to Salah toward the end of the first half, and the Liverpool No.11 slotted home as everyone watching assumed he would.


While not identical, it brought to mind Fabinho’s assist for Sadio Mane in the 3-1 win over Manchester United last season. In both instances the former Monaco man floated a lovely pass over the defence to leave the attacker clean through on goal.

He also scored a fabulous goal of his own against the Eagles, which again stirred memories of Manchester. It was City who came to mind this time, though, as his goal on Wednesday was similar – though even better – than the one he netted against the soon-to-be-deposed champions back in November.

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Fabinho’s efforts against Palace mean he has a total of three goals and five assists for Liverpool as his second season with the club draws towards its conclusion.

He certainly looks able to provide more, though, and it’s important to remember that so much of what a player does is based upon the instructions they are provided by their manager. Just because Fabinho hasn’t added much to the goals and assists column doesn’t mean he can’t.

A glance at his shot maps on UnderStat provides ample evidence of that. The 26-year-old has only taken five shots from inside Premier League penalty boxes with Liverpool, with his headed effort against Newcastle in 2018 his sole goal from that range.

Yet he took nine shots – plus four penalties – in opposition penalty areas in Ligue 1 during his final season with Monaco, and 12 excluding spot-kicks the year before as his side won the title.

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It’s a similar story with creating chances. Fabinho has lined up 33 chances for his Liverpool teammates in the league across his two campaigns with the club, yet he set up 36 during 2017/18 alone.

The standard of football in France is not as high as it is in England, so it’s to be expected that his figures might have taken a hit since joining Liverpool.

But his history with Monaco and the ability he has displayed in flashes with the Reds show he’s capable of adding more assists and goals to his game. Whether it happens or not lies in the tactical decisions made by Klopp as much as anything.




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