The Reds spent big luring the versatile Brazilian away from Monaco last summer, but he is yet to prove his worth to an Anfield icon
Fabinho may be showing signs of encouragement at Liverpool, but Graeme Souness claims he is “yet to be fully convinced” by a man acquired for £43 million ($58m).
Jurgen Klopp moved swiftly to land the versatile Brazilian during the summer transfer window of 2018.
With rival interest being shown, the Reds sought to ensure they benefitted from the potential of a highly-rated 25-year-old.
Liverpool have, however, sought to ease Fabinho into their fold, with a Premier League debut not made until October 27.
He has figured on a regular basis since then, but was only introduced off the bench in the crunch clash with Manchester City which saw the Premier League leaders lose their unbeaten record.
Reds legend Souness told the Sunday Times of his doubts about a player still looking to prove his worth.
“Liverpool don’t have what I would call milky players,” he said.
“Before the season began they identified midfield as an area that needed strengthening and brought in Fabinho and Naby Keita.
“I am yet to be fully convinced by Fabinho and wonder why it has taken such a long time for him to get up to speed.
“He has played well since getting into the team but he still has a bit to go.”
Questions have been asked of Klopp and his players on the back of a 2-1 reversal at the Etihad Stadium, but they remain four points clear in the battle for English top-flight supremacy.
Souness still considers them to be the team to beat, with there being more pressure on Manchester City to deliver as star-studded defending champions than there is on the table-topping Reds.
He added: “I understand why Pep Guardiola was so pleased after the game. Beforehand he had said that if City lost, the title race would be ‘almost over’.
“Now it is very much back on. What I don’t buy into is the view offered by many that the momentum has swung from Liverpool to City. The greater pressure will be on City not to let that four-point gap widen again.
“As for Liverpool, there was nothing about their performance at the Etihad that will make them think less of themselves.
“It wasn’t like they were overrun or that City could have scored four or five. It is pretty rare for a team to go to the Etihad and have as much possession as City.
“Could the result have been different? It possibly would have been had Sadio Mane’s shot not struck the inside of a post and then been cleared off the line by John Stones.
“City were hanging on at the end – you do not see that very often.”
Liverpool are back in action on Monday evening when they travel to Premier League rivals Wolves for an FA Cup third round encounter.