Liverpool announced the signing of Brazilian international Fabinho in a deal that could be worth more than £40m at the end of May this summer, having completing the whole transfer without so much as a rumour that anything was being pursued.
Since then though the 25-year-old has had to be extremely patient in waiting for chances to impress, as German boss Jurgen Klopp felt he needed to integrate into the system fully.
Having racked up just 123 minutes in all competitions before Wednesday though, the defensive midfielder was handed a start against Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League and he certainly grasped the opportunity with both hands.
Fabinho starred while playing alongside the more advanced Georginio Wijnaldum and Xherdan Shaqiri in midfield, and the Brazilian’s numbers from the clash certainly justify Klopp’s decision to make the fans wait to see their summer signing.
The Reds play a far quicker game than can be seen in the French Ligue 1 and Fabinho had the tough job of clearing up and protecting his back four against the Serbian side, as well as being the man to initiate attacks with forward passes between the lines.
This quick forward passing is where Fabinho excels and is the reason that he should now be considered the first-choice holding midfielder at the Merseyside club.
Whereas Jordan Henderson is often criticised for being too cautious and keeping the play moving sideways, his new teammate is always on the front-foot and looks as though he could be the key to unlocking teams who sit back against the Reds.
On Wednesday evening, Fabinho completed 90 per cent of his 80 total passes and two of those were considered key passes that created goalscoring chances.
The holding midfielder was everywhere on the night and won an outstanding six aerial duels and nine tackles as he broke up counter-attacks, stopping the bottom side in Group C from testing Liverpool keeper Alisson.
The former Monaco man was clearly signed as a replacement for Emre Can, who left for Juventus on a free transfer this summer, but Fabinho ensured that any memories of the German will be erased from Anfield with his dynamic and combative performance.
So, Liverpool fans, should Fabinho keep his place in the side for the visit of Cardiff City on Saturday? Have your say by voting in the poll below.