Fabinho must continue to 'close the gap' on his teammates as he competes for a starting place at Liverpool, explained Jürgen Klopp.
The Brazil international has made three appearances in all competitions for the Reds since signing from AS Monaco in the summer but awaits a first chance to begin a game in the Premier League this season.
Ahead of Saturday’s resumption of domestic football with a trip to Huddersfield Town, the manager was asked for an update on Fabinho’s potential opportunities.
“[He is] close,” replied Klopp at his pre-match press conference.
“I didn’t see him for 10 days so that’s not the best thing to judge exactly how he is. But he is very close, he is never far away.
“We spoke about it that he needs to get used to different things – that’s how it is for all the players. I had this situation so often, I can’t believe how often.
“I don’t like to tell too many old stories but Ilkay Gundogan didn’t play [for] half a year [under Klopp at Borussia Dortmund]; the only difference was he was a young player from Nurnberg and nobody asked for him. He asked! He wasn’t in the squad and there were a lot of difficult moments.
“You need to be ready, that’s how it is. At one point I have to make a decision if somebody is ready or not. We’ve already made the decision that he’s the right player for us. Now we have to come together.
“There is no problem but I can imagine in the moment that everybody asks you constantly, ‘Oh, you don’t play’ so the player is not really comfortable. For me, I don’t care too much; I have to explain it.
“But there is only one reason: because another player fits better in the moment. It is one reason, no other. I really think a lot about who plays on which position. As long as always there is a player ahead and is fresh then the other player plays.
“It’s about the new player to close that gap. It always took time and will always take time. But when you close the gap, go and you make us better. That’s the plan.”
Last Updated: 19/10/18 6:04amLiverpool fan Sean Cox was attacked outside Anfield ahead of the Champions League semi-final against Roma
Roma supporter Filippo Lombardi has been found not guilty at Preston Crown Court of inflicting grievous bodily harm on Liverpool fan Sean Cox.
The 21-year-old from Rome has, however, been jailed for three years for a separate charge of violent disorder, which he admitted.
Cox suffered "catastrophic injuries" when he was assaulted outside Anfield before the Champions League semi-final against Roma on April 24.
A jury of six men and six women found Lombardi not guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm by a majority verdict after deliberating for just under nine hours.
Lombardi - who had an Italian interpreter with him in the dock but gave most of his evidence in English - had admitted a charge of violent disorder before the trial.
The student was one of a group of about 30 Roma supporters who made their way down Venmore Street onto Walton Breck Road, outside the stadium, just after 7pm.
Lombardi was seen on footage swinging a belt as another man, referred to as N40, punched Mr Cox, causing him to fall to the ground.Virgil van Dijk (C) and teammates hold a tribute to Liverpool fan Sean Cox
Recorder of Preston Judge Mark Brown said Lombardi's sentence would have been considerably longer if he had been convicted of the attack on Mr Cox.
But, he said: "Nonetheless, it is a feature of the case that during the violent disorder he was severely injured and that cannot be ignored.
"The violent disorder did not end with the attack on him because, as he was lying unconscious on the ground, it carried on regardless near to him and you, as is clear from the footage, were in the thick of it."
The court has heard Mr Cox, from Dunboyne, Co Meath, Ireland, suffered a severe traumatic brain injury in the attack and is still being treated in a rehabilitation centre.
Alison Gurden, defending, said Lombardi was of previously good character and had played as a goalkeeper in the AS Roma academy between the ages of 13 and 16.
She said: "Mr Lombardi has a background of someone who, since he was a young man, has been very responsible and very hard working."
She said he had had a "huge maturity increase" after spending nearly six months in prison.
Judge Brown said he did not accept that Lombardi had not been there to cause trouble.
He said: "There is no doubt in my mind that your purpose was to cause a violent clash with the Liverpool fans and that's demonstrated vividly in film footage.Liverpool beat Roma 7-6 on aggregate to reach the Champions League final last season
"The footage shows that you had an active role and your assertion in evidence and in your basis of plea that you were just looking for signs for away supporter sections and were suddenly confronted by Liverpool fans is, in my judgment, nonsense."
Judge Brown said footage showed Lombardi using his belt "as a whip".
He said: "Your actions and those of the other Roma supporters in the group are likely to have scarred the good name of football.
"In my judgment, you have brought disgrace on AS Roma supporters."
He added: "The game will probably be remembered not because of the football skill on the field or the result, but because of the awful tragedy Mr Cox endured, and the violent disorder that took place outside the ground."
The court heard another man had been arrested in Rome in connection with the attack and was awaiting extradition.Win Jeff's £1MIL
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