Liverpool full back Nathaniel Clyne has admitted that the arrival of Brazilian star Fabinho may threaten his place in the squad next season, although the former Southampton man has insisted that competition for places is good for team.
Liverpool announced the signing of Fabinho from AS Monaco in late May for a transfer fee worth a reported €50m (£44m). The Brazilian international plays predominantly in midfield, although he’s also capable of playing at right back.
Clyne may now have to contend with even more competition for his place, but the 27-year-old is relishing the challenge, which he believes can only benefit the squad.
“He [Fabinho] looks like a good signing. He can play central midfield and do a job at right-back,” he told the Express. “It gives us more competition, which every team needs, it’s healthy.”
Clyne, who joined Liverpool from Southampton in 2015, has struggled with a number of injuries in the past year. Consequently, he managed to make just three Premier League appearances for the Reds, much to his frustration.
“It’s been a very frustrating season for me. Right from the start of the season, I got injured. No one wants to get injured during pre-season.
“It was difficult trying to get back. I had to decide whether I needed surgery or not too, which I did in the end. It was a real setback. I’ve worked hard, I’m getting back on track. Now I’m looking forward to pre-season and ready to go.”
Although he can fit into a backline, all of Fabinho’s appearances for Monaco last season came in the midfield, and Clyne’s main threat is likely to come from youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold, whose excellent form earned him a place in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man World Cup squad.