Fabinho reveals Thiago Alcantara secret….

Fabinho has heaped praise on Liverpool’s new-look midfield that has swiftly adapted following a summer rebuild.

The Brazilian was back at Anfield to watch the Reds’ 4-2 victory over Newcastle United on New Year’s Day. Fabinho opted to depart Liverpool last summer for Saudi outfit Al-Ittihad, having spent five seasons on Merseyside and won six major trophies – including the Premier League and Champions League.

With former captain Jordan Henderson also leaving for All-Ettifaq – along with James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain exiting at their end of their respective contracts – Liverpool signed four midfielders in Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szboszlai, Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch. Having finished just fifth in the Premier League last season, the Reds now sit three points clear at the summit of the table and are exceeding expectations.

Fabinho, speaking to LFCTV before the Newcastle triumph along with Roberto Firmino, reckons that Thiago Alcantara – who hasn’t played for Liverpool since having hip surgery in April – will be playing a key role in helping the summer arrivals.

He said: “It’s really important for the team that the players who arrived are playing football and integrating into the team. Players like Szoboszlai, Mac Allister and Endo are playing well so it’s important because the team lost some important players like Hendo, myself and Gini (Wijnaldum) in the past.

“They are doing a good job. Unfortunately, Thiago is not playing regularly but I’m sure with his experience, he’s helping these players. He has really good communication. The players who have arrived here have done a very good job.”

Jurgen Klopp is hopeful that Thiago will return to training this month. Speaking ahead of the Newcastle victory, the Liverpool manager said: “I think Thiago will be at one point [in January] in team training.

“Thiago is in a very good moment as well but we just have to make sure we don’t use him then too early. The hip thing in and around that area is just a long-term thing as well. There were for sure days where he could have easily trained but it’s all about how can he be back then in the long term, and that’s what we are working on.”

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