Medical Insider: This may be real reason for Fabinho 'decline' as new Liverpool details emerge
A combination of age and the demands placed on Fabinho by the injury crisis at Liverpool are to blame for his “decline” this season.
That is the view of medical expert Ben Dinnery, who runs the Premier Injuries site and has a background in injury and data analysis, speaking exclusively to Football Insider.
Fabinho has featured in all 20 of Liverpool’s games across all competitions this season but his performances have been criticised in recent weeks.
As quoted by the Liverpool Echo on Saturday (5 November), Jurgen Klopp admitted it may help the 29-year-old if he played less but that is not possible with his side’s injury problems.
“The demands of playing at such a high level in 2021-22 where they were fighting on all four fronts, cumulatively as a squad, has had an impact,” Dinnery told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.
“The squad is a year older so you will naturally see a level of decline in that.
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“In terms of where players are at with their peak performance levels in elite football there is a lot of anecdotal and subjective evidence to suggest that players peak around 25 to 27 years of age. If you’re playing in midfield, maybe it’s that 27 age make.
“If you factor that in then maybe Fabinho is on the decline.
“You’re also looking at the turmoil caused by the injury-ravaged season and the demands.
“You have an automated response when you’re in a settled position and you know those around you. When you’re changing formations and asking players to do different roles, that comes together.
“What starts as a small issue can become easily exasperated.
“I would suggest there is not one reason you can pin down. That’s not just Fabinho, that’s probably for a lot of the Liverpool players this season.
“Add to that the external pressures of the weight of expectation, how can you better last season?”