Fabinho reveals what Philippe Coutinho told him about Liverpool before summer move

Philippe Coutinho raved about Liverpool fans to Fabinho (Picture: Getty)Fabinho has revealed that Philippe Coutinho told him about Liverpool’s ‘exceptional’ supporters before he joined the club.

The 25-year-old midfielder completed a £39million switch from Monaco in the summer and has had a frustrating time since arriving on Merseyside, failing to make a Premier League start until the end of October.

However, Jurgen Klopp heaped praise on Fabinho following Liverpool’s Merseyside derby victory over Everton and talked up the Brazilian’s partnership with Georginio Wijnaldum.

Fabinho was blown away by Liverpool fans on his Champions League debut for the club against Paris Saint-Germain and lifted the lid on what Coutinho told him about the Reds’ home support.

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‘I knew about Anfield on European nights, but it wasn’t a very detailed knowledge, just the kind of things you pick up from the TV about stories and games you’ve watched,’ he told Liverpoolfc.com.

‘I remember once with the national team, Philippe Coutinho was talking about the exceptional Liverpool fans.

‘But now that I’m living it week in and week out, the atmosphere in the stadium, the reaction of the fans to every victory – you can see how fanatical the supporters are and how much they love their team. They really make a difference.

Philippe Coutinho and Fabinho are team-mates with the Brazilian national side (Picture: Getty)‘At the start of the season when I wasn’t playing as much and I was on the bench, especially in the first game, I was looking around the stadium all the time at the way the fans were reacting and I was really impressed by it all.

‘The first Champions League night against PSG was amazing. The fans put on a show at every home game and it gives us an extra push when we play at Anfield.’

Fabinho impressed in the Merseyside derby (Picture: Getty)Liverpool must beat Napoli 1-0 or by two clear goals to guarantee a place in the Champions League last 16 and Fabinho is confident of progressing.

The Brazil international said: ‘It’ll be a very difficult game. Napoli showed their quality over in Italy when they beat us, but it’s in our hands.

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‘We’ll be playing at Anfield, which will be an extra boost for us. As always, we’re going to try to impose ourselves, as we do against whoever we’re up against.

‘And driven on by our fans, we’re going to give our everything to win this game.’

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Jurgen Klopp praises Fabinho impact ahead of Liverpool vs Burnley

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Jurgen Klopp suggested Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum are set to keep their place in midfield for Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Burnley on Wednesday.

Jordan Henderson is available for selection again after missing the Merseyside derby victory over Everton, but may have to make due on the bench.

Klopp praised Fabinho’s impact during the Everton game, in which the Brazilian put in arguably the best performance of his season so far.

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Asked if Liverpool could field the same midfield, Klopp replied: ‘Yeah, no problem.’

But the Liverpool boss stopped short of saying club captain Henderson would not be involved.

Klopp did, however, heap praise on Fabinho after a slow start to his Liverpool career.

Fabinho was good against Everton (Picture: Getty)‘I don’t judge it on big steps or small steps, it was just a good performance from him. It was exactly what I expected,” Klopp said.

‘So far, Gini (Wijnaldum) and Fabinho have worked really well together on the defending side.

‘The most important thing about that game was how we defended up front – that was the biggest difference to other games. The high pressure was really brilliant.

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Henderson could come back into the side (Picture: Getty)‘I don’t know if you have seen many of the other Everton games this season, but nobody so far could really deny their build up like we did, and they’ve played away at Chelsea.

‘That was really brilliant. You have to be in the right spaces and that looked really good.

‘On the other side, playing football was good. It can be better, like it always can be, but he was calm on the ball and it was a really good performance.’

MORE: Fabinho speaks out on Liverpool exit rumours after Paris Saint-Germain transfer link

Fabinho speaks out on Liverpool exit rumours after Paris Saint-Germain transfer link

Fabinho wants to remain at Liverpool (TF-Images/Getty Images)Fabinho insists he has no plans to leave Liverpool after being linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain.

The Brazil international has a slow start at Anfield after he was signed in a £43.7 million deal from Monaco in the summer.

The 25-year-old has only started five games in all competitions this season and reports have claimed that PSG are looking to sign him in the January transfer window.

But Fabinho insists he has ‘no reason to leave’ Liverpool.

‘He [Jurgen Klopp] did not give a lot of explanations, but in training I talked so I would not be discouraged and concentrate on work, without lowering my head, [I knew] the opportunities could come in,’ Fabinho told UOL.

Fabinho says Jurgen Klopp did not give him many explanations as to why he was left out (Getty Images)Now I just want to increase my number of games.

‘In the last few matches I’ve played more and I believe that playing a good role.

‘Since football is very intense here, I have to be very well prepared when the opportunity arises.

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‘I was told there was something in the press, but I never said I would like to leave Liverpool.

‘I was aware that I needed to have the patience to wait for my moment.

‘I’m happy at Liverpool, there’s no reason for me to leave.’

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Why Jurgen Klopp must rectify his midfield problem against Everton in the Merseyside derby

Liverpool’s midfield came under intense pressure against PSG (Getty Images)Last season was all about the front three, this season has been all about the back five, but what of the men in the middle?

While Liverpool have been in imperious form in the Premier League, stringing together a 13-game unbeaten run, a 2-1 defeat to PSG marked their third straight away loss in the Champions League and not for the first time this season, there were question marks over the performances and suitability of Jurgen Klopp’s midfielders.

Klopp’s tried-and-tested trio of captain Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum were dominated by their Parisien counterparts for the most part, with PSG’s tenacious midfield general Marco Verratti particularly influential, dictating the tempo of the game and doing the dirty work in front of his defence.

Marquinhos was also effective, shuttling from defence to midfield regularly, tucking in as a third centre-half when PSG had the ball and then shifting forward to shut down passing lanes as an extra midfielder when Liverpool looked to ping the ball into their attackers.

In contrast, Liverpool’s midfielders found it difficult to stamp their mark on the game. There was no shortage of endeavour and industry from Henderson, Milner and Wijnaldum, but there was precious little creativity, guile and spark in PSG’s half. Defensively, meanwhile, they were too easily and too often bypassed.

Jordan Henderson found it difficult to contain Neymar (Getty Images)Of the three, Milner was certainly the most effective. During his 77 minutes on the pitch, Milner scored Liverpool’s equaliser from the penalty spot, created a team-high three chances and won six tackles. Conversely, he was careless in possession, succeeding with only 70% of his passes and losing possession 18 times in total – also the highest rate in Liverpool’s team.

Milner had a decent game overall but Wijnaldum and Henderson were well below-par. As Liverpool’s deepest midfielder, Henderson was tasked with picking up the roving runs of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe off the flanks, yet he ended up chasing shadows for the most part. Wijnaldum, meanwhile, failed to create a chance or win a tackle.

There was a troubling lack of cohesiveness between Liverpool’s midfield and attacking units throughout and while the goalscoring form of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in Europe has been called into question this season, they were feeding off proverbial scraps for the majority of the game.

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The £52.7m signing of Naby Keita from RB Leipzig in the summer was meant to provide Liverpool with the perfect link-man from midfield to attack. While in Germany, Keita excelled during transition phases, using his athleticism, change of pace and dribbling prowess to drive his team forward and open up gaps in the opposition defence.

However, he was afforded just 24 minutes at the Parc Des Princes and has only started one game for the club since October. Another midfielder who was tipped to upgrade Liverpool’s midfield in an altogether different way was Fabinho, who continues to be linked with a move to PSG following an inauspicious start to life at Anfield.

Fabinho was a midfield monster during his time at Monaco especially during their unexpected Ligue 1 title-winning campaign in 2016-17. That year, the Brazilian won 113 tackles and completed 53 interceptions in 37 league games to provide expert cover for his defence. Tricky Champions League games should be the exact kind of occasion he was bought to play in.

Keita is yet to show why Liverpool put so much effort into signing him (Getty)Of the three midfield recruits in the summer, Xherdan Shaqiri has undoubtedly been the most impressive, with two goals an two assists in nine Premier League games from a central midfield position. However, the Swiss has also been a victim of rotation in the Champions League.

Klopp’s decision to leave Shaqiri at home rather than risk inciting a riot in Belgrade following the midfielder’s pro-Albania celebration against Serbia in the World Cup was understandable, but his decision to relegate him to the bench in Paris less so. Shaqiri is the closest thing Liverpool have had to a Philippe Coutinho figure in midfield.

Following events in Paris, it will be interesting to see who Klopp selects for the Merseyside derby on Sunday. They may not possess the class of PSG, but Everton’s midfield triumvirate of Idrissa Gueye, Andre Gomes and Gylfi Sigurdsson has a lovely balance to it, with a destroyer, a puppet-master and goal threat, all dovetailing nicely in central areas.

The question is whether Klopp trusts his new players to come in and deliver on the big stage or whether the experienced heads he has so far relied upon can put their Champions League disappointment behind them and regain their optimum form.

Klopp has rarely changed his back five and seldom considered dropping one of his front three this season, but he has regularly chopped and changed his midfield without finding the right blend. If Liverpool are to achieve their lofty objectives this season, he will have to settle on a first-choice midfield sooner, rather than later.

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Jurgen Klopp explains why Naby Keita and Fabinho have been eased in at Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp insists that Naby Keita and Fabinho need time (Getty Images)Jurgen Klopp has reiterated that summer signings Naby Keita and Fabinho need time to acclimatise to their new surroundings before establishing themselves as first-team regulars at Liverpool.

A year after agreeing a deal with RB Leipzig, Liverpool finally signed Keita in the summer with the Guinean arriving for a £52.75m fee while Fabinho joined for £43.7m from Monaco in May.

Much was expected of the duo considering their transfer fees, yet neither have managed to secure regular football so far with Klopp tending to stick with the players he had last season.

However, while Klopp suggested both players must improve to be considered for selection, he remains confident that they will make an impact.

Naby Keita came on as a second half substitute against PSG (Getty Images)In an interview with Sky Sports, Klopp said: ‘We will have to work for it because it is not like you can throw players on the pitch and just tell them to do it. It doesn’t work. It didn’t work with Fabinho.

‘It did work really well with Naby in the beginning, but then he got an injury and the team did really well. If things are working then you keep them.

‘That gives the other players even more time to adjust to all the things around them, in the league, in the club and all this stuff.

‘There will come the time when they are playing and nobody will remember that there were three or four games at the beginning when they weren’t playing. So, of course, there is potential there to improve.’

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The spotlight has come on Klopp’s midfield selection in recent days following Liverpool’s disappointing 2-1 defeat to PSG in which Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson and to a lesser extent, James Milner played poorly.

Klopp became visibly irritable during his press conference ahead of Sunday’s Merseyside derby against Everton, saying ‘I don’t see any problems in midfield,’ after being asked if they had been overrun in the midweek defeat to PSG.

Liverpool will be without their captain Jordan Henderson for the visit of Everton this weekend which could lead to either Keita or Fabinho being given their first taste of the derby.

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Jurgen Klopp reacts angrily to question on Liverpool’s ‘overrun’ midfield

Jurgen Klopp was angered by a question over Liverpool’s midfield (Picture: LFC.com)Jurgen Klopp insists there are no issues with his midfield engine room amid accusations his side is suffering from a lack of creativity.

Liverpool remain unbeaten in the Premier League and are just two points behind leaders Manchester City heading into Sunday’s first Merseyside derby of the season at Anfield.

Klopp has solidified his side’s leaky defence but that success appears to have been offset by a lack of goals, particularly away from home in Europe.

Liverpool were beaten by Paris Saint-Germain in the French capital on Wednesday where the only shot on target they were able to muster came via James Mliner’s successfully converted penalty.

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Summer signings Fabinho and Naby Keita have both struggled to make an immediate impact, while the workmanlike duo of James Milner and Jordan Henderson offer stability and aggression, but little by way of attacking threat.

Klopp has attempted to cover for the collapse of Nabil Fekir’s proposed move from Lyon by dropping Xherdan Shaqiri into a deeper position, with mixed results so far, but the German insists he has full confidence in whichever combination of players he picks this weekend.

Asked if he thought his midfield had been overrun in recent matches, Klopp frowned and said: ‘We conceded five [league] goals and you say our midfield is overrun? I don’t see that. No, I don’t see any problems in midfield.’

Pressed on whether the likes of Fabinho and Keita were prepared for the intensity of a local derby with Henderson set to miss out through suspension, he added: ‘I really don’t get a lot of your questions today. We have to prove we are ready on Sunday.’

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Fabinho reminds Liverpool players he got thrashed by PSG before Champions League defeat

Fabinho reminded Naby Keita and Sadio Mane about Monaco’s 7-1 defeat to PSG (RMC Sport)Fabinho was keen to remind Liverpool’s players about his own negative experience against Paris Saint-Germain before their crucial Champions League clash on Wednesday evening.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are now in danger of missing out on a place in the Champions League knockout phase as PSG moved to second in Group C with a 2-1 victory at the Parc des Princes.

Fabinho was benched for the match against the French champions and was not used by Klopp as his side attempted to rescue a draw in the second half.

But before the game, the Brazil international strangely reminded Sadio Mane and Naby Keita of the fact that when he was last at the Parc des Princes with Monaco in April, he was on the receiving end of a hiding

Speaking to his Liverpool teammates as they made their way to the dressing room, Fabinho said: ‘The last time I came here, I lost 7-1.’

Mane tried finding a positive out of Fabinho’s remark (RMC Sport)

Fabinho reminds Mane that Monaco were not champions after they lost to PSG (RMC Sport)More: Football

In a desperate attempt to find a positive after hearing that statement, Mane replied: ‘But after you became champions.’

But Fabinho also reminded Mane that Monaco were only the defending champions, while their crushing 7-1 defeat meant that PSG were crowned Ligue 1 title winners.

Probably not the best thing to mention before a crucial Champions League clash.

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Fabinho’s wife brilliantly shuts down Liverpool exit rumours

Fabinho has struggled to make an impact at Liverpool since his big-money move (Picture: Getty)Fabinho’s wife Rebeca Tavares has shut down *those* Liverpool exit rumours in style with a priceless post on Twitter.

The 25-year-old midfielder has had a frustrating time since completing a £42.7million from Monaco to Liverpool in the summer, only making three starts under Jurgen Klopp in the Premier League.

Reports suggest Paris Saint-Germain are interesting in bringing Fabinho back to Ligue 1 and could speak to the Brazilian when the side face Liverpool in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.

It’s claimed PSG are plotting a move in January and are hopeful of securing Fabinho on an initial loan deal with a mandatory option to buy.

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Thiago Motta and Giovani Lo Celso both left PSG in the summer and Thomas Tuchel is keen to bring in midfield reinforcements this winter.

‘We need a third top-level player to be able to play a 4-3-3,’ Tuchel said last month.

However, Fabinho’s wife branded the speculation ‘fake news’ on Twitter…

Klopp insisted last week that Fabinho’s long-term future remains with Liverpool and labelled the rumours ‘crazy’.

‘[Fabinho] is settling. He’s played three of the last four and he did well,’ Klopp said.

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‘Now the most intense period of the season is coming up and he has used his time to adjust to what we want.

‘And of course he will not leave. That would be completely crazy. It’s the world we are in where people don’t play for a few games and they are open for a transfer.’

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PSG considering January move for Liverpool midfielder Fabinho

The Brazilian is yet to shine since moving to Anfield (Picture: Getty)Paris Saint-Germain are interested in bringing Liverpool flop Fabinho back to France and could speak about a potential transfer when the sides meet in the Champions League.

The Brazilian moved to Anfield from Monaco in the summer for £43.7million but has struggled to make an impact, starting just three times in the Premier League this season.

Fabinho had been heavily linked with a move to PSG before signing for Liverpool, and according to L’Equipe the French champions are ready to reignite their interest.

Klopp insists he is happy with Fabinho and won’t sell him (Picture: Getty)The club lost a number of midfield options in the summer, notably Thiago Motta and Giovani Lo Celso, and it is an area Thomas Tuchel is keen to strengthen in.

They still see Fabinho as an ideal fit despite his struggles at Anfield, and could use Wednesday’s Champions League encounter as an opportunity to discuss a potential deal.

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PSG are preparing to move in January, and are hoping to secure an initial loan deal with a mandatory option to buy.

If that mandatory option recoups the full £43.7m Liverpool paid just a few months ago, the Merseysiders could be convinced to sell.

Fabinho has struggled to adapt to the Premier League since leaving Ligue 1 (Getty)Speaking back in October, Tuchel confirmed his desire to bring in a new midfielder, saying: ‘We need a third top-level player to be able to play a 4-3-3.’

With the club fearful of losing Adrien Rabiot – who is out of contract next summer and free to sign a pre-contract agreement in January – they will make a big push to bolster their midfield when the window reopens.

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Jurgen Klopp dismisses speculation Fabinho could be sold by Liverpool

Fabinho is not going anywhere, according to Jurgen Klopp (Picture: Getty)Jurgen Klopp has dismissed speculation Liverpool are looking to sell struggling midfielder Fabinho.

The Reds spent over £40million to sign Brazil international Fabinho from Monaco in the summer but he has endured a difficult start to life at Anfield.

The 25-year-old faces competition from a number of players and has admitted he found it difficult to deal with his first few months in England.

That had led to speculation Liverpool could look to offload Fabinho in January – Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan are said to be keeping tabs on his situation.

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But Klopp says these rumours are ‘crazy’ and insists Fabinho will stay at Liverpool.

‘[Fabinho] is settling,’ Klopp said. ‘He’s played three of the last four and he did well.

‘Now the most intense period of the season is coming up and he has used his time to adjust to what we want.

‘And of course he will not leave. That would be completely crazy. It’s the world we are in where people don’t play for a few games and they are open for a transfer.’

Red boss Jurgen Klopp (Picture: AFP)Liverpool have made a fine start to the new season and will set a new club record for the least goals conceded at this stage of the campaign with a clean sheet against Watford on Saturday.

‘I didn’t know that,’ Klopp said when asked about the prospect of setting the record. ‘Now I will put 11 defenders on the pitch to make sure we do it!

‘The record was not our main focus. We play to win football games and it makes life easier if we don’t concede but it will be a proper challenge tomorrow.

‘It’s no coincidence that Watford are seventh in the league. They got a proper knock against Bournemouth but all the other games they were very good.

‘You don’t get a lot of shots against them. You have to be ready for all the small things.’

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