Former England international Danny Mills is adamant that we will see ‘even more’ from 2018 Liverpool signings Fabinho and Naby Keita next season.
The Brazilian was a key man throughout the last campaign for the Reds, but Keita struggled to get to grips with English football. However, BBC pundit Mills believes that they, and fellow midfielder Adam Lallana, will be like new signings for Jurgen Klopp.
“Fabinho started to come into his own in the last six months, you had Adam Lallana coming back from injury, almost like having a new player, Naby Keita is also starting to settle a little bit more,” he told Football Insider. “You’ve got lots of players that have been there but haven’t really got to their maximum potential yet.
“It takes time to settle, it’s very rare that a player comes in and is an instant success overnight. All the normal, everyday things that you have to get used to when you change country. I think you will start to see even more from the likes of Keita and Fabinho this season.”
Mills is right, it does take time to settle to a new country, and to English football in particular. We have seen that borne out time and time again over the years, with players who were outstanding in foreign leagues failing to replicate their success in the English top flight. From Afonso Alves to Diego Forlan, Roberto Soldado to Iago Aspas, there are a litany of footballers who were phenomenal elsewhere but mediocre at best in England. As for Mills’ assertion that we will see even more from Fabinho and Keita next season, he’s probably correct. For the latter, in particular, there is plenty of room for improvement after an underwhelming debut campaign in the Premier League. However, there were hugely promising signs for the 24-year-old towards the back end of the season. He really started to find his feet, featuring more regularly and scoring more goals. As for Fabinho, the thought that he could be even better next term is really exciting, because he was absolutely tremendous for the majority of last season. Hey, bring on the new campaign, the Liverpool fans will be thinking.