Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has claimed Fabinho is 'close' to being given more first team opportunities following his summer arrival from AS Monaco, while drawing comparisons between the Brazilian's situation at Anfield and one of a former player at Dortmund, Ilkay Gundogan.
The 24-year-old arrived at Anfield this summer after impressing during his time in Ligue 1 and was seen as a coup for the Reds. However, he has struggled to break into the starting lineup yet at the Premier League club, making only three appearances in all competitions in 2018/19.
Ahead of the Reds' game against Huddersfield however, Klopp has revealed that he isn't worried about the situation, citing an experience at Borussia Dortmund about being patient with a new player.
As quoted by the club's official website, he said: "[He is] close. I didn’t see him for 10 days so that’s not the best thing to judge exactly how he is. But he is very close, he is never far away.
“I don’t like to tell too many old stories but Ilkay Gundogan didn’t play [for] half a year [under Klopp at Borussia Dortmund]; the only difference was he was a young player from Nurnberg and nobody asked for him. He asked! He wasn’t in the squad and there were a lot of difficult moments.
"You need to be ready, that’s how it is. At one point I have to make a decision if somebody is ready or not. We’ve already made the decision that he’s the right player for us."
Liverpool have made a promising start to the season, winning six of their opening eight league games to join Manchester City and Chelsea at the top of the table.
Klopp on Fabinho: "He's close. I didn't see him for 10 days. Not best thing to judge how he is. But he was never far away. He just needed to get used to different things. I've had this situation before - Gundogan didn't play for half a year."— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) October 19, 2018
While Fabinho still awaits his first league start for the club however, Klopp has challenged the holding midfielder to 'close the gap' on the rest of the squad.
He added: "It’s about the new player to close that gap. It always took time and will always take time. But when you close the gap, go and you make us better. That’s the plan."