Liverpool's Keita and Fabinho should not be underestimated despite slow starts
Liverpool’s Premier League rivals would be foolish to doubt the abilities of summer arrivals Fabinho and Naby Keita, despite their slow starts in English football.
Fabinho arrived from AS Monaco in the summer for a reported fee of £43.7million, while Naby Keita was signed on a pre-contract agreement in 2017 for a fee that was dependent on RB Leipzig’s Bundesliga position, eventually reported to be approximately £52.75million.
Both players have endured fitness issues upon their arrival on Merseyside, which has hampered their form considerably.
Neither signing featured regularly in a disjointed pre-season, with many players returning late after the World Cup in Russia.
Despite some mixed feedback – for Fabinho particularly – the Brazilian defensive midfielder was a general at the heart of Monaco’s midfield in seasons gone by, and he could well turn out to be the figurative ‘number six’ Liverpool have been missing since the departure of Javier Mascherano.
As for Keita, he showed a glimpse of the talent he has in Liverpool’s opening day win over West Ham United, and should he manage to replicate that form on a regular basis, he will be a test for any opposition.
While both players have earned some criticism in the early weeks of the season, it would be foolish to write off such talented young players so soon after a massive culture switch.