Almost two months have passed since the signing of defensive midfielder Fabinho from Monaco, yet the new boy has yet to receive a squad number for the upcoming season.
The Brazilian is said to favour the no. 2 shirt which, unfortunately for him, is currently occupied by Nathaniel Clyne.
With the 2018/2019 kit sales in full flow, it is a wonder why financially-savvy owners Fenway Sports Group are missing out on a merchandising opportunity with the £45 million pound man’s name and number currently unavailable to get on the back of your shirt.
Reading into this a bit further, is Fabinho holding out for the No.2 shirt?
If so, it could spell the beginning of the end of Nathaniel Clyne’s Liverpool career.
The Englishman has had a rotten bit of luck with both injuries and the unexpected emergence of Trent Alexander Arnold, with the 19-year old deputising expertly in Clyne’s year long absence from an injury sustained in pre-season last year.
So much so that the 27-year old is now unlikely to break back into the team, with Klopp preferring the more attacking Alexander-Arnold, who he believes operates in his system more effectively.
Clyne, who signed for the Reds from honourary-feeder club Southampton in 2015 in a £12 million pound deal, has proved himself to be a reliable player in that right-back slot.
The thing is, he’s just not needed any more – Alexander-Arnold is nailed-on to be first choice again this season, with Joe Gomez and Fabinho himself available to provide backup in case of injuries or just to allow rotation.
This lack of the necessity to keep the Englishman around at Anfield may see the club try to expedite his departure so that the Brazilian can be officially handed the No. 2 shirt, and shirt sales of one of their marquee new signings would finally be able to take-place.
If a move were sanctioned, the 27-year old would likely have no shortage of suitors from both the Premier League and abroad, with dependable right-backs a rare commodity in the modern game.
By Lewis Rooke – LV_Rooke