This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
Fabinho has impressed for Liverpool this season but there are signs that he is still some way off being the finished article.
The Brazilian has become a key component of Jurgen Klopp’s midfield since arriving last summer, with his average of 57.5 passes per game in the Premier League last season higher than any other Reds midfielder.
Against Burnley, however, there was some evidence that of improvements needed in his game, and the mistakes he made suggest he has some work to do yet to become a complete midfielder.
Virgil van Dijk compared the midfielder to Inspector Gadget following his performance against Burnley, suggesting that he was everywhere, providing a constant outlet for the defence to pass to.
The 25-year-old was typically effective with the ball at his feet against the Clarets, and his 67 successful passes meant he completed more passes than any other midfielder on the pitch, according to WhoScored, with Georginio Wijnaldum the only starter to achieve a higher success rate than Fabinho’s 83.6%.
His contribution allowed Liverpool to have 63% possession, enabling them to take control of the game and create opportunities for the front three. Although that provided a positive, his long pass accuracy meant he wasn’t as effective in directly finding the forwards, with only five out of ten attempts being successful.
Also, he was sloppy out of possession, committing three fouls which Liverpool could have been punished for if they were playing against more accomplished opposition.
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He will need to improve his tackling in Champions League matches or in clashes against the top six, although the fact he made only two fouls in his three matches prior to the weekend suggest it is not an area of weakness, but an area where complacency could creep in – which he will need to avoid.
Similarly, another defensive aspect in need of improvement is his play inside his own box. He is one of Liverpool’s biggest players in terms of physicality and as a defensive midfielder needs to be stopping danger in the penalty area, but his zero clearances suggests he failed to do so against Burnley, with the Reds reliant on van Dijk’s tally of 11 instead.