On This Day: Fabinho signs for Liverpool in rare surprise transfer

On May 28, 2018, rumours of Liverpool’s interest in Fabinho started circulating on Twitter. Just a couple of hours later he was announced as the club’s latest signing.

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Just two days after the heartbreak of Kiev in 2018, spirits were lifted around Anfield when the signing of Fabinho Tavares was announced on May 28 for a £44million fee from AS Monaco.

The Brazilian is now one of Jürgen Klopp’s most important players, marking his territory as Liverpool’s first-choice No.6 — as well as the occasional game as a centre-half.

His presence on the pitch would see him dubbed the team’s “lighthouse”, courtesy of Pepijn Lijnders, who says he plays a significant role in orchestrating Liverpool’s “organised chaos”.


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Fabinho’s signing could be described as the same, an organised chaos. It was an addition to the squad not expected by the fan base, but it was one that showcased the efficient and swift execution of all those involved in Liverpool’s transfer dealings. It was a remarkably quiet coup of one of Europe’s most sought-after defensive midfielders.

The arrival of the No.3 came out of the blue with the transfer escalating from rumours to the official announcement of the player all within a matter of hours.

The Brazilian had no previous links of substance to Liverpool until the evening of May 28, when French news outlets started to report the Reds’ interest in the Monaco player at around 6:30pm.

The news reached English sources just an hour later and at 8pm Paul Joyce sent those Liverpool hearts — still broken from the Champions League final — soaring when he confirmed a bid had been accepted. An hour later, the club’s official Twitter account announced the Brazilian’s arrival.

The now 26-year-old’s acquisition marked the start of a busy transfer window which saw Naby Keïta, Alisson Becker and Xherdan Shaqiri also arrive at Anfield.

The unorthodox story of Fabinho’s arrival would prove to be the perfect distraction from Kiev, diverting the attention away from the previous season’s heartbreak and instead giving those crestfallen Kopite hearts optimism that Klopp and his team would push on even further to repair the scars and wounds left by Real Madrid.


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