Premier League • England

Senior Liverpool star makes honest admission about competition from new signings; sends warm message to Roberto Firmino

Liverpool trio Thiago Alcantara, Joel Matip and Fabinho

Liverpool trio Thiago Alcantara, Joel Matip and Fabinho

Liverpool midfielder Fabinho has spoken openly about the new arrivals in his position, while also wishing Roberto Firmino ‘all the best’ at his next club.

Fabinho’s place in the Liverpool starting eleven could come under threat next season. The Reds have captured Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton for an initial £35million. The deal could eventually be worth £55m depending on add-ons.

Fellow midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai has also become part of Jurgen Klopp’s squad this summer. He moved to Anfield on a five-year contract after Liverpool agreed to pay RB Leipzig his full £60m release clause.

As Mac Allister and Szoboszlai are more attack-minded than Fabinho, they will not provide him with direct competition for his defensive midfield role. However, the Brazilian could have to get the better of Romeo Lavia to maintain his starting spot next term.

That is because Liverpool are looking to make Lavia their third new midfield signing of the transfer window. Klopp’s side are rivalling Arsenal and Chelsea for the Southampton player.

During an interview with official club media, Fabinho spoke about the changes which have been made in midfield. He said: “We lost, I think, three midfield players that were really important for us in the last maybe five, six years. It’s good to bring some good players in that position because we will need [them].

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“In the way we play, the intensity we play, we always need not just three or four but maybe six players in this position [in the squad]. So yes, it’s good to have these two players with us now. We played against them already, so we know how good they are. It’s good to have them in the team.”

The 29-year-old went on to mention former team-mate Firmino, who rejected the offer of a new Liverpool contract to leave on a free transfer. He has penned a three-year deal with Saudi Arabian club Al Ahli, a move which will see him pay alongside former Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

Fabinho discusses Roberto Firmino exit

“Yes, football is like this [players leaving and arriving],” Fabinho added. “Sometimes we will lose some very good friends. That’s the case with Bobby; he’s gone, so I wish him and his family all the best.

“We have to focus on the players that we have now. At the moment, Mac Allister and Szoboszlai have arrived. I didn’t see them yet, they have a couple more days of holidays. We just hope that they will be ready to be with us.

“We will help them in the adaptation and hope they will be ready and get the ideas of the team as quickly as possible.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool have reportedly received a ‘very good offer’ for a player who has been pushed out of the Liverpool starting lineup.