Liverpool midfielder Fabinho has reported agreed a deal to move to Saudi Arabian outfit Al Ittihad, according to a tweet from journalist Fabrizio Romano.
While the deal is not completed as of yet, it appears to be a formality at this point. Fabinho and his agent have agreed a contract with Al Ittihad, but the Reds have not greenlit the deal at the time of writing.
Additionally, Fabinho has yet to complete his medical, which will take place ‘soon’. Liverpool are staying ‘cautious’, but it looks increasingly likely that Fabinho will leave the club.
In Romano’s tweet, he wrote: “Understand Al Ittihad and Liverpool are closing in on Fabinho deal. Agreement on verge of being completed. Liverpool still cautious as documents have to be checked but it’s v close. Fabinho will undergo medical soon, if all goes to plan. Three year deal agreed with the player.”
Will Liverpool miss Fabinho?
Had we written this piece a couple of years ago, we would be lamenting the loss of Fabinho – when he joined Liverpool, he looked like one of the best defensive midfielders in the world.
However, since then, his weaknesses have become very apparent. He has looked slow, clumsy and borderline lackadaisical for a couple of seasons now – losing him now would not be such a bad thing.
How can the Reds replace Fabinho in the squad?
Should Liverpool opt to allow Fabinho to move to Al Ittihad, they will probably need to make a signing, as there are currently no adequate replacements in the squad.
The only other natural defensive midfielder in the team is 18-year-old Stefan Bajcetic – putting Fabinho’s responsibilities on his shoulders would be a massive ask for such a young footballer.
As such, the Reds will need to push on in their pursuit of Romeo Lavia if Fabinho leaves the club. While the Southampton man is not a like-for-like replacement, he would be a good fit in Jurgen Klopp’s squad.
Like Bajcetic, he is also young (19), but he has a full season of Premier League football under his belt – he knows what will be required of him.