Fabinho has been named among seven Liverpool players who could exit the club as part of a summer clearout, according to one report.
With the Reds pursuing a series of midfielders ahead of the transfer window, with Jude Bellingham, Mason Mount and Joao Palhinha prominent among the targets being mentioned, it seems highly likely that some of Jurgen Klopp’s current options in that area will leave.
Three of those – Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner – will be out of contract in June, with Fabrizio Romano telling CaughtOffside that all three are either expected to leave or will decide on their respective futures in the next few weeks.
Lewis Winter stated in an article for the Daily Express on Thursday morning in relation to Fabinho’s Liverpool future: ‘The Brazilian has had a really disappointing season. He had established himself as one of the best holding midfielders in Europe in his first four campaigns on Merseyside.
‘But he has been a shadow of that player this term. At 29, Fabinho is still of the age that could attract teams in Europe to want to sign him.’
Joe Gomez, Curtis Jones and Nat Phillips were named as the other players who, according to the report, could be ‘on their way out of Liverpool’.
It would be fair to argue that the 2022/23 season has been a challenging one for Fabinho at Anfield.
Jamie Carragher was critical of the midfielder’s form in the opening three months of the season (@Carra23 on Twitter), while Scott Minto told talkSPORT after October’s defeat to Leeds that ‘it’s like his twin brother [is] playing’.
Figures from WhoScored also hint at regression from the 29-year-old. His rating of 6.66 for the current Premier League campaign is way down on the 7.00 he recorded last term, while also being by far his lowest in five years at Liverpool.
However, the Reds must not jettison Fabinho lightly. With three midfielders potentially departing on free transfers this summer once their contracts expire, squad depth in that position could suddenly become worryingly sparse.
You’d hope there’ll be an abundance of activity in that regard on the transfer front, but until such time that high-quality replacements are brought in for those who look set to leave, reducing our midfield options any further would have an aura of playing with fire.
Also, let’s not forget just how superb the 29-year-old has been throughout his time at Anfield overall, with Klopp himself calling him ‘exceptional’ and ‘a top, top, top, top, top class player’ last season (LFC official website).
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