Fabinho: We need to improve even more
Photo: Getty Images

Fabinho has insisted that Liverpool must build on their previous campaign, reiterating the need to find 'something extra' this season.

The Brazilian's debut season in the Premier League saw the Reds fall short of Manchester City in their pursuit of the elusive title despite amassing 97 points, a club record in the top flight and the third-highest tally since the Premier League's inception back in 1992.

However, the 25-year-old has vocalised how vital it is for Liverpool to perform to an even higher standard this time around, amidst the growing quality of the competition.

Fabinho acknowledges strong rivals

This season, the Reds have continued their remarkable form of last year which saw them win a sixth European Cup. Despite Tuesday's 2-0 defeat to Napoli in their opening Champions League group stage defence, Liverpool have won all of their first five games of the Premier League campaign whilst also picking up a UEFA Super Cup in August along the way.

Jurgen Klopp's men are currently setting the pace at the top of the league, five points clear of reigning champions City, who are currently second. However, it's not just Pep Guardiola's side that the Reds will look out for.

With the growing confidence of Frank Lampard's new-look Chelsea along with Arsenal and last season's Champions League runner-ups Tottenham, Fabinho is aware of the current pedigree of the teams around them.

Speaking to the official Liverpool FC magazine, Fabinho said: "We’re a great team but all our rivals are very strong as well, it shows that if we want to be champions we have to do something extra. It’s not enough beating the record, sometimes we have to do even more."

"We’ve focused upon this at the start of the season and started really well."

Showcasing versatility

The No.3 was subject to sporadic involvement at the beginning of the 2018-19 season after arriving on Merseyside in July 2018, having to wait until late October for his league debut.

However, he has since established himself as one of the world's best defensive midfielders over the following months, making himself an integral part of Klopp's plans.

The former AS Monaco and Real Madrid man has continued to impress this season too, starting seven of Liverpool's eight games in all competitions, whilst also being recalled to the Brazil squad by head coach Tite for this month's recent international fixtures against Peru and Colombia.

His dominance and composure in the middle of the park to win possession back is complemented by a great eye for a pass, something that Fabinho himself has noted.

“I try to read the game as to when I can pass the ball forward or not," he began.

“There are a lot of situations which we work on where you don’t really need to see where the player is. As we get to know each other better you become familiar with the runs each player likes to make. That’s why I try to play the ball forward a lot.”

Praise was also given to the attacking options at Liverpool: “I know with the players we have up front there are always going to be options there, especially as we have Bobby [Firmino] who comes deep a lot and helps in the creation of plays.

"With the quality of our attacking players we know that if the ball comes to them, even if it’s not that good a ball, you know they’ll do something with it and start a good attacking move. That’s why I like to play the ball forward."

Fabinho is expected by fans to play his first-ever game at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, as Liverpool face Chelsea in a clash which could potentially see the Reds extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table.