Wolves manager Nuno Espírito Santo has discussed his personal history with Liverpool midfielder Fabinho ahead of their Premier League clash on Monday Night Football.
The Brazilian has deputised at centre-back for the majority of this season following injuries to the likes of Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip. A recent return to his natural position in midfield could be the change that Liverpool need.
“Fabinho is an amazing player, a fantastic player,” Nuno began. “I don’t know if you knew, but we worked together in the beginning at Rio Ave when he came to Europe.
“We were together for two weeks and from out of nowhere he goes on loan to Real Madrid, I said ‘wow, I teach this boy in two weeks very well, eh?’
“When he started he was a right-back, I think he changed his natural position in Monaco when Leonardo Jardim was the manager that started putting him in midfield.
“I wish all the players that I had during my short career have been as successful as possible and I’m delighted that Fabinho is one of the many, many players I had the pleasure to work with, that’s achieved good things in football.”
The 27-year-old isn’t the only Liverpool player Nuno will reunite with on Monday night. Forward Diogo Jota joined the Premier League Champions from Wolves for a fee of £41 million in the summer and has been a shining light ever since.
“I will give him a big hug,” Nuno continued. “Big, big hug, this is how much I like him, the friendship that we have, five years together everyday – big hug.
“I am absolutely sure that if Molineux was full of our fans, he would have a huge reception, because what Diogo did with us was amazing, beyond words.
“He was truly admired because he gave everything he had for the club, for us, for Wolves and when he joined us in the Championship coming from Porto, he put his life, he put his heart here and that cannot ever be forgotten.”
Wolves currently sit 13th in the table, eight points behind Liverpool eighth, both sides have endured a difficult season to date, being hampered with injuries.
Jurgen Klopp’s side come into this game having progressed to the quarter-finals of the Champions League after beating Red Bull Leipzig 4-0 on aggregate, whilst Wolves were last in action against Aston Villa earlier on March 6, drawing 0-0 at Villa Park.