Fabinho says first season at Liverpool 'not easy'
"Sadio Mane is a genuinely impressive player, he's tireless, playing in every game with such high levels of intensity and concentration."
Last Updated: 14/06/19 11:53am
Liverpool midfielder Fabinho says his first season at the club was "not easy" despite winning the Champions League.
Fabinho moved to the Reds from Monaco last summer in a deal worth £43.7m, but struggled for game time early in the season, making his first Premier League start at the end of October.
However, the 25-year-old forced his way into the side as the starting holding midfielder and played 90 minutes in Liverpool's 2-0 Champions League final triumph against Tottenham in Madrid.
Fabinho said: "Overall I think my first season at Liverpool was good. In my first season I knew there would be a learning and settling-in period. I went through this.
"It didn't last that long but I remember it wasn't easy starting afresh, I was left out for a few matches.
"Even though I was telling myself that I needed to work hard and be patient, it's not easy being out of the team. But that's in the past now, I started playing more.
"The more you play, the more you can enjoy your football. I think I became an important part of the team, I gave the manager another option he could depend upon. So I think it was a really good season."
Fabinho was helped to settle in at Liverpool by his Brazil teammates Alisson Becker and Roberto Firmino, but, unlike his compatriots, was left out of the national squad for the upcoming Copa America in their native country.
Another player who aided the midfielder's arrival was fellow French speaking Sadio Mane, who Fabinho believes is a crucial player for Liverpool to keep hold of this summer.
He added: "Sadio Mane is a genuinely impressive player, he's tireless, playing in every game with such high levels of intensity and concentration.
"His technical ability goes without saying, he always makes a difference for us.
"He's a complete player - he gives you the option of a short pass or a long ball, he contributes to the build-up and creation of play as well. He's a great player in amazing form, which is really important for his confidence.
"Off the pitch I chat with him quite a bit as we both speak French, my French is still better than my English. He's a great lad. Sadio has been a really important player for us this season."