Premier League • England

Fabinho: Major attribute Liverpool struggler has lost named by Micah Richards amid ‘quite strange’ fall from grace

Fabinho reacting for Liverpool

Fabinho has been a big player for Liverpool since 2018 switch

Fabinho has not looked like the same player for Liverpool this season, but he has actually only lost one attribute according to a pundit.

Several Liverpool players have been the subject of criticism so far this season. After a thrilling 2021-22 campaign, the team have been inconsistent this term. As a result, the focus has been on who is underperforming.

There has been much scrutiny on Liverpool’s midfield, where Fabinho has played 18 matches in all competitions. Indeed, he has been their busiest player in his position.

However, despite previously dominating the role, he has not looked like his usual self. The Brazil international has not brought the same sense of presence as he has in his four previous seasons with the club.

Jamie Carragher has been one pundit to question Fabinho’s deterioration, recently asking “what is going on” with him and then describing him as a “ghost” at one moment in Liverpool’s loss to Leeds United last time out.

Now, Micah Richards has given his take on what is changing for Fabinho. According to the former Manchester City defender, the 29-year-old has simply lost his energy.

Richards told The Monday Night Club on the BBC: “It’s quite strange isn’t it, we were talking about Fabinho about 18 months ago as being the best defensive midfielder in world football.

“He just looks like he can do all the same things apart from the legs.

“You know when you’re a midfielder and your legs just start to go, and you can’t get around the pitch as much as you would like, that’s what it seems to be.

“I think it’s difficult at times when he’s played (Fabio) Carvalho and Harvey Elliott, two more offensive (players), when normally he’s had a (Jordan) Henderson next to him or a Thiago next to him.”

Time on Fabinho side, but Liverpool could have concerns

Still under contract until 2026, Fabinho will have to prove Richards wrong if he is to keep going at the top level with Liverpool.

A player of his age should still have enough in the tank, but with his confidence seemingly dropping as well, Fabinho has a battle on his hands to get back on track.

Generally, he has been one of Jurgen Klopp’s most trusted players since signing from Monaco in 2018. But football can be a ruthless game, so he will need to raise his standards soon to avoid losing his status.

Liverpool are looking at strengthening in midfield next year, which could put the likes of Fabinho under even more pressure.

With games coming thick and fast, he could get even more drained. In turn, he might struggle to rediscover his best form.

But class can come through in the end sometimes, so Fabinho will be hoping his current downturn is only temporary.

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