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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 1, 2023: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (R) embraces Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp accepts Fabinho exit – but says Liverpool will miss his “dirty work”

As Liverpool wave goodbye to their fifth midfielder of the summer, Jurgen Klopp has paid tribute to Fabinho while conceding that his side must continue to “adapt” to change.

Fabinho leaves Anfield after a glorious five-year stay in which he won every trophy he competed for in a Liverpool shirt, with a £40 million move to Al-Ittihad now the next step in his career.

The manager was full of praise for the 29-year-old and spoke of the “insurance” he provided his team from the base of midfield when reflecting on his exit.

“Fab was for so long the insurance we had more or less in midfield. He always gave us the freedom to play all the fancy stuff,” the boss told the club’s official website.

“He was involved in that from time to time as well but loved to be the hoover for the team, loved to do all the dirty work for the team.”

PORTO, PORTUGAL - Tuesday, September 28, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (R) celebrates withFabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' after the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 2 game between FC Porto and Liverpool FC at the Estádio do Dragão. Liverpool won 5-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Fabinho joins fellow midfielder Jordan Henderson and a host of other Premier League names in joining the evergrowing Saudi Pro League.

Klopp was philosophical in admitting that changes are a natural part of managing a football team but that the Reds will “definitely” miss what he brought to the team.

“We will miss him, definitely. But again, it’s like it is. Life is about changes – that’s always – and you obviously have to adapt to them,” he continued.

Fabinho of Liverpool kisses the cup during the UEFA Champions League match at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, Madrid. Picture date: 1st June 2019. Picture credit should read: David Klein/Sportimage via PA Images

“If you don’t do that, if you stick in the past, something will hold you back – and I’m not that person.”

The Brazilian joined the club a matter of hours after defeat in the 2018 Champions League final in Kiev and helped Liverpool en route to putting things right in Madrid 12 months later.

He also played a crucial role in ending a 30-year wait to bring the league title back to Anfield as the Reds romped home by an emphatic 18-point margin.

Fabinho wrestled with his own form towards the end of his Liverpool career but was unquestionably one of the best holding midfielders on the planet at the peak of his powers and comes away with a medal collection to match.

The £40 million fee sees Liverpool recoup almost all of the £43.7 million and he leaves having given the supporters some incredible memories both domestically and in Europe.