Having been left out of Jurgen Klopp’s travelling Liverpool squad for their pre season warm up out in Germany, Brazil midfielder Fabinho has now completed the final touches on his new deal with Saudi Arabian Pro League side Al-Ittihad.
The 29 capped 29 year old defensive midfielder missed out on both the Germany and Singapore training camps after the side made a £40 million offer for his services, and late on Monday evening it was confirmed that the ink was now dry on his new three year deal and the move had now been finalised.
For those fans who like a small flutter on the transfer market, the Saudi emergence as a serious destination this summer will have given rise to some interesting bookies promos and odds as punters were weighing up the futures of players across the last few weeks, and with plenty of time left before the transfer window closes, I imagine there are plenty keeping an eye on which way odds form for those players still expected to make a switch.
Having joined from Monaco back in July 2018 for a fee believed to be in the region of £39 million, his five year spell at Anfield saw him make 219 appearances for the side, scoring eleven times and he more than played his part in helping them to their more recent Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup and the Fifa Club World Cup successes.
As he took to social media to say his goodbyes to his former fans, he gave out quite a lengthy statement.
“Today I leave my home. It’s been five years wearing this jersey and always with the greatest honour and happiness possible. Since day one at Liverpool, I’ve been embraced by everyone. What I saw inside this club, the relationship between the people there, made me feel like family. In these five years, I grew as a player, as a man, I made dreams come true… With that jersey, I won every title a player can dream of. Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup… Thanks to Liverpool, I reached my highest level and played a World Cup. Thanks to Liverpool, I fulfilled my dream of walking into a stadium with my son in my arms. Thanks to Liverpool, I played in the best stadium in the world, with the best atmosphere in the world, which is Anfield. Thanks to Liverpool, I lived the biggest match of my life, the comeback against Barcelona, which was only possible thanks to Anfield. That moment will always be in my memory. I love what this crowd represents for the club. This love relationship between the club and the fans has always impressed me. And I can say without fear that “You’ll never walk alone”, after that match, alongside our fans, was the most defining moment of my career with Liverpool. I say this with a heart full of joy: I love this club. Thank you, Reds, for everything we’ve experienced together. You will never walk alone.”
Fabinho becomes the latest big name player to make the move to Al-Ittihad as they prepare for their upcoming domestic league campaign, and he joins Ballon d’Or winner and former Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante and ex Celtic forward Jota at the side now managed by former Wolves and Spurs gaffer Nuno Espirito Santo.
The Saudi influx obviously goes further as it was only a few days ago that former skipper Jordan Henderson joined Steven Gerrard out at Al-Ettifaq.
It has certainly become a summer of big change for Klopp’s side as he looks to freshen up his playing squad after what was a disappointing Premier League campaign (based on their standards) in the 2022/23 season, and fans will naturally have one eye on the transfer window as with the departures of Fabinho and Henderson, they are five experienced midfielders down now with James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita also leaving the Merseyside club when their contracts hit their natural expiry date.
Image from: unsplash.com