Although much of the 2020-2021 season played out like a nightmare for Kopites, the way the campaign ended should give Liverpool fans a great deal of optimism for what is to come in 2021-2022. Supporters have not forgotten what this club achieved in the two prior seasons by winning the Champions League and Premier League, and their ability to finish in third place despite great turmoil is something worth praising.
Next season, business should pick up again for the Reds, and while fans won’t run the risk of getting their hopes up, much of the optimism includes high hopes for the summer transfer window.
But even beyond possible transfers, Liverpool have a number of talented, experienced players who are poised for big 2021-2022 seasons. They are ready to receive more respect for their quality. And prominent among those players is midfielder Fabinho.
For years, Fabinho has been one of the best defensive midfielders around. Even when he was at right back, he was a man who commanded a great deal of respect. Whether at Monaco or Liverpool, Fabinho has shown that he can play at the highest level.
Fabinho and Thiago are poised for massive 2021-2022 seasons at Liverpool
Yet the amount of recognition he receives pales in comparison to his importance. It is no secret that when Fabinho plays, Liverpool wins. And that is also no coincidence. When Fabinho plays, the other midfielders improve. They perform better. Thiago Alcantara has more room to operate. The defense is better-protected. Everything seems snappier defensively and more fluid offensively.
Fabinho is one of the most underrated players in the Premier League. Despite producing a high level of quality since 2013-2014 when he first emerged as a regular at Monaco after a move from Real Madrid, Fabinho remains overlooked when fans discuss the best midfielders in European football. And that’s largely because players who contribute defensively get overshadowed.
You could wonder if Thiago, who is set to have an amazing 2021-2022 season and is the clear star of this midfield, could play a role in overshadowing Fabinho next year. But instead of maybe complicating things, I think Thiago will help Fabinho get more spotlight and end the streak of seasons in which the 27-year-old is underrated.
Fabinho has always been great. This is a guy who regularly clears the 2.0 tackles and 1.5 interceptions mark in a league or Champions League season, per WhoScored.com. He is also entering the prime years of his career as a defensive midfielder.
It’s early. The 2020-2021 season has only just ended. But I am confident that by the end of 2021-2022, only the most casual of European football observers are underrating Fabinho.