Jurgen Klopp insisted Philippe Coutinho “still loves Liverpool” as he explained the role his former midfielder played in persuading Fabinho to join the Reds.
The Reds bought Virgil van Dijk from Southampton that same month, while Fabinho and Alisson arrived in the summer of 2018 from Monaco and Roma respectively.
And Klopp explained why the Reds have Brazilian duo Coutinho and Roberto Firmino to thank for bringing about their compatriot’s move to Merseyside.
“We just said what we had to say, what we think and what he will be for us and stuff like this,” Klopp said.
“I think the best help was probably Bobby [Firmino] as they knew each other from the national team and for sure what Phil said about Liverpool because he loved and still loves Liverpool, so these kinds of things helped.
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“I can’t tell you exactly what I said to him, because it was so long ago, but it was obviously convincing enough and so it came together.
“When I met him first, he was a pretty shy boy and maybe he thought it would be best to be around a pretty vocal loud manager!”
Despite being a natural midfielder, Fabinho has excelled in central defence this season, where he has filled in for injured duo Van Dijk and Joe Gomez.
How important is Fabinho to Liverpool? Have your say here.
Klopp is grateful to have the versatile 27-year-old in his squad, though he admits he cannot take credit for moulding him to a new position.
The Reds boss added: “I’d love to say it was just because of us and before he came here, he could have never played in any of the positions he plays – but that’s just not true!
“I wouldn’t even say Fab is a defensively minded player, he’s more an organisational kind of player.
“He’s very strategic, I don’t know what he played in his youth in Brazil, but for Monaco and the national team he frequently played at right-back.
“He’s also played in one of the double six positions, so he’s just able to play centre-half – you can see that in so many situations.
“His challenging skills are just outstanding defensively and football wise he’s good in small spaces, so it makes sense to play him in centre-midfield but he can play centre-half and we knew that.
“Thank God that we have him and with him and the other boys we have somebody to play in this position.”
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