Fabinho explains Liverpool lure and transition into one of the world’s best holding midfielders

Fabinho says the desire to link up with “a big club” led him to sign for Liverpool, while he has also hailed the role of Leonardo Jardim in making him one of the finest holding midfielders on the planet.

Back in the summer of 2018, the versatile Brazil international was attracting interest from leading sides across Europe.

He had helped Monaco to become title winners in Ligue 1, with his ability to switch between roles at right-back and the heart of midfield marking him out as a useful asset.

In order to beat their rivals to the punch, Liverpool moved quickly to put an agreement in place with the South American.

The Reds splashed out close to £40 million ($49m) in getting a deal over the line, with Fabinho happy to shun advances from the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United to make his way to Merseyside.

He said in the Liverpool Echo when discussing the reasons for joining Jurgen Klopp’s ranks: “After five seasons at Monaco, I knew it was the right time to leave to look for a new step in my career.

“I wanted to sign for a big club.

“I had no doubt I wanted to come to Liverpool, so much so that when the transfer window opened, the deal was immediately made official.

“It really is a huge club, one of the biggest in the world. The club has great ambition and that is what I wanted in my career, so I'm very happy to be here.”

Fabinho Liverpool Champions League PS

Fabinho saw his time with Liverpool get off to a slow start, with Klopp unable to bring the best out of the 25-year-old immediately.

Patience has been rewarded, though, with the Reds finding the perfect option to fill their defensive midfield post.

They have Fabinho’s former coach to thank for his progression in that role, with Monaco boss Jardim having helped to unlock the potential in a man who is now being showered with praise.

“My time at Monaco was very good and I think I developed well from the moment I arrived to the moment I left. I stayed at Monaco for five years, working with Leonardo Jardim for four,” Fabinho added.

“He was a coach who helped me develop a lot in my career. It was him who made me take the big step of changing positions [from right-back]. We always talked about it, as I liked that position and he liked seeing me in that position.

“So he came to speak to me and decided he wanted to change. I accepted the challenge, but it's not just about that - I have many good memories with him. We were Ligue 1 champions at Monaco in 2017. I had a great time there and made a lot of my friends.

“I'll always hold that club dear to my heart.”

Fabinho has gone on to become a Champions League winner at Liverpool, while he has also passed the 50-appearance mark for the club in 2019-20 and is a key part of Klopp’s plans for the future.