After a relatively slow start to his time at Anfield, Fabinho has burst into life as of late. He has been one of Liverpool's best performers over the last month or so, with his masterful display against Manchester United the catalyst to what is looking like being a very promising second half of the campaign.
Liverpool have been crying out for a player with Fabinho's qualities for a number of years now, with his mix of defensive nouse and passing ability the perfect fit for a Jurgen Klopp team. While many fans had grown tired with Jordan Henderson's perceived lack of dynamism in the 'number six' role, no such complaints could be directed towards the former Monaco man.
But it was not always obvious that he would be a success. He was used sparingly during the opening period of the season, which led to rumours about his unhappiness over lack of playing time meaning he was considering a move away from the club.
PSG were rumoured to be interested in bringing him back to France, with a loan move for the £40million man mooted.
However, Fabinho has now said there was absolutely no truth in these reports. In fact, he has accused the French champions of planting the rumours to unsettle Liverpool ahead of the Champions League meeting between the pair.
He told L'Equipe (h/t Liverpool Echo) that is not the first time PSG have used such tactics:
I never thought of going elsewhere.I know a lot of things were written in the newspapers, but it wasn’t true.
What’s funny is that this PSG loan story came out just before our Champions League match [in November].
And I had already experienced a similar story the day before the final of the Coupe de la Ligue between PSG and Monaco [in March 2018]. It’s a strange coincidence, isn't it?
Fabinho did almost move to PSG, but that was a year before he arrived on Merseyside. He was never going to quit Anfield after only a few months, and his patience is now being rewarded with a consistent run in the team.
In fact, if I had to sign at PSG, it’s the year before it could have been done.
They were very interested, I talked a lot with Antero and the club’s leaders, but it didn’t work.
The year after, I did not wait for them… And then, I thought it was time to leave France.
Fabinho played the full 90 minutes in the victory over Brighton this afternoon in an unfamiliar centre back role, filling in due to a number of injuries in the Liverpool defence. He performed excellently once again, although he will be moved further up the pitch once the likes of Joe Gomez and Joel Matip return to action.
He will certainly have a big role to play over the coming months, and the Brazil international will be hoping to be one of the catalysts as Liverpool seek to win a first league title in 29 years.