Liverpool midfielder Fabinho has developed into the outstanding anchorman in the league, according to Noel Whelan.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds United and Coventry City striker has been hugely impressed by the impact made by the Brazilian since the second half of last season.
Fabinho, 25, has established himself as a lynchpin of Jurgen Klopp’s Champions League-winning side since the turn of the year after initially struggling to make an impression following his summer-of-2018 arrival from Monaco.
Whelan explained how the Brazil international’s performances in recent months have more than justified the £40million fee spent on him.
“I can’t quite believe how good he has become,” Whelan told Football Insider. “When he first joined, he was not in the team and his early appearances showed he was a bit off the pace.
“But he was brilliant in the second half of last season when he found his feet. He’s gone from average to the best in the league in his position.
“Fernandinho is fading at Man City, and I can’t think of anyone better than Fabinho. He is perfect for the midfield anchorman role – he covers the ground, presses relentlessly, wins the ball and moves it on quickly.
“His passing range is excellent as well, as you could see with the pass to [Mohamed] Salah against Arsenal.“
Fabinho has made 47 appearances for Liverpool, including starts in four of their five matches this season in the Premier League and Super Cup.
Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum have established themselves as Jurgen Klopp’s favoured midfield trio early on this season.