Fabinho made only his second Liverpool start at Anfield against Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday night, but he made an immediate impression.
The Brazilian was comfortable in the middle of the park and added real bite to the Reds as they looked to battle with the Serbian outfit, breaking up play with ease.
Yet, Jurgen Klopp’s post-match comments, whilst positive, may suggest cause for concern.
“Very good. Very, very good. The present for his birthday was not that he was in the line-up, it was that we played his favourite system with a double-six! He played really well and it was good to see. He was very aggressive and everything was there,” Klopp told the club website.
The German clearly recognised that there was a change of shape which helped to accommodate the former Monaco man and it is one which puts him in a more familiar set-up.
Having failed to stand out to such an extent when playing in Liverpool’s preferred 4-3-3, it may be a worry for the Reds that their summer signing does not fit into their preferred system.
Fabinho’s strong display was positive, regardless of the shape, and will undoubtedly do wonders for his confidence after a tough start to life on Merseyside.
The concern for some fans may be whether he can maintain such impressive form if Liverpool do revert to their usual 4-3-3, rather than 4-2-3-1.