Fabinho Says He's 'Not Totally Settled' in EPL Following Liverpool Transfer

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2018

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Fabinho of Liverpool looks on prior the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool and FK Crvena Zvezda at Anfield on October 24, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Liverpool midfielder Fabinho has said he is still adapting to the Premier League following his move from Monaco in the summer. 

After being left out of numerous squads earlier in the campaign, the Brazilian has been playing a more active role of late. On Saturday he started in the 1-1 draw against Arsenal but struggled with the pace of the game for long spells.

Speaking about his integration into English football, Fabinho said it may take a little longer until we see him at his best, per Rory O'Callaghan of Sky Sports.

"I'm not totally settled just yet," said the Liverpool No. 3. "I'm still adapting to here, but I believe that I'm now used to the football style, especially when it comes to the intensity of the game, which is really different from the league that I came from."

Fabinho went on to say that despite his ongoing adaptation he is "feeling well at the club" and thinks he is "on the right track." 

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 03:  Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal holds off Fabinho of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at Emirates Stadium on November 3, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Julian Finney/G
Julian Finney/Getty Images

The former Monaco man arrived on Merseyside with a big reputation, having excelled during his time in Ligue 1 with the principality club. Fabinho was a crucial part of the Monaco team that won the French title in 2016-17 and made it to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League in the same season.

While he's performed well in some outings for the Reds, the game against the Gunners on Saturday showed Fabinho still has a lot to learn about the Premier League.

Keith Costigan of Fox Sports commented on what was a tough afternoon for the midfielder:

keith costigan @KeithCostigan

Fabinho struggled with pace of that one. If you don’t see Henderson is better fit in LFC midfield right now in these type of games I don’t know what to tell you

The 25-year-old, alongside James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum and up against Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira, seemed a little slower in possession than everyone else in that area of the field.

Fabinho's passing was errant, his tackling was off and there were times in the game when he didn't provide the protection needed.

Still, it's early days in his Liverpool career and in the past it has taken players, especially midfielders, a long time to adapt to the way in which Klopp sets his side up. Nevertheless, per football writer Jack Lusby, the manager hinted he wasn't happy with the performance of his new recruit:

Jack Lusby @jacklusby_

Interesting to read Klopp's comments last night on how "we couldn’t change because we had no defensive midfielder on the bench." Clearly not happy with how Fabinho started at Arsenal; can't imagine Henderson or Keita will be back tomorrow either.

Liverpool have had a tough start to the season and a more favourable run of fixtures in the coming weeks may give Fabinho a chance to get better acquainted with the nature of top-flight football in England.

While he may be experienced at international level and in the Champions League, the demands of the English game are unique, and a number of players have taken months, and sometimes seasons, to get up to speed following their arrival at a new club.