Tuesday 11 December 2018

Liverpool new boy Fabinho keen to emulate Roberto Firmino's development at Anfield

Liverpool have been interested in Fabinho for some time. Photo: Michael Steele/Getty Images
Liverpool have been interested in Fabinho for some time. Photo: Michael Steele/Getty Images

Carl Markham

Liverpool's new signing Fabinho hopes to follow the example of compatriot Roberto Firmino in not only adapting quickly to life in England but taking his game to the next level.

The midfielder, who will officially join from Monaco on July 1 in a deal worth up to £43.7million, spoke extensively with his Brazil team-mate about Anfield and life on Merseyside before his move.

Fabinho admits Firmino's raised performance levels have not gone unnoticed and he wants to follow the same path.

"I've been following Liverpool for a few years, in particular since Firmino arrived," he told LFCTV.

"After he arrived here he was able to achieve higher development at this football club. Because he had success, I hope the same happens to me.

"We spoke a bit more about the infrastructure of the club, the city and we also spoke about the coaches and how they do their work so I was able to know a bit more about Liverpool through Firmino.

"I had been with him at the Brazilian national team on a few occasions. I know he's a fantastic person, his background is from nice people.

"He is also very good for someone who comes to a new country, a new city - someone who speaks the same language.

"This will of course make the adaptation much easier."

Fabinho could well be joined by another Brazil team-mate if, as expected manager Jurgen Klopp looks to upgrade his goalkeeper this summer.

The position has been the subject of debate since before Klopp arrived in October 2015, but Loris Karius' mistakes in the Champions League final have intensified the scrutiny.

Klopp has an interest in Roma's Alisson, although he could face paying a premium for a player valued at £60million, with the Italian club having been burned by last summer's forced £38million sale of Mohamed Salah to the Reds in order to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations.

Liverpool moved quickly to get the Fabinho deal done virtually under the radar but they have no such hope if they pursue Alisson after Roma's sporting director Monchi was moved to speak about the goalkeeper's situation.

"In order for a player to leave, there have to be three elements in place - an offer, a yes from the club and from the player," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"As of today, we have nothing of the sort. We are happy to keep him, transfer rumours are normal at this stage."

Speculation about a number of goalkeepers has increased following Karius' high-profile errors in Kiev.

The 24-year-old German was at fault for Karim Benzema's opener and Gareth Bale's second goal in the 3-1 defeat, and former Reds midfielder Danny Murphy believes that will end his Liverpool career.

"I actually feel sorry for him. I really do. Nobody goes into a game wanting to make mistakes," he told talkSPORT.

"Unfortunately, I don't think he'll play in a Liverpool shirt again. It's impossible for him.

"I think (with) the magnitude of the mistakes and the enormity of the game, the supporters will struggle with him being in goal for them.

"And the continual ribbing he will get week in, week out, wherever he goes - that's going to be huge pressure for him.

"I just can't see him playing again. That's not being dramatic - that's a reality of the situation."

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, a trip to Old Trafford to watch Man United take on Liverpool in the Premier League, tickets to Ireland's home games in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport