Virgil Van Dijk has hailed the performance of midfielder Fabinho as Liverpool registered an emphatic 4-0 victory against Red Star Belgrade in their Group C Champions League clash on Wednesday evening.
The Dutch central defender took ownership of the captains' armband with Jordan Henderson sidelined through hamstring tightness and James Milner taking a place on the bench.
One of the performances that really caught the eye was that of the Brazilian defensive midfielder.
The summer signing from Monaco has had to bide his time in the early stages of the campaign with Jurgen Klopp easing the 25 year-old into the rigours of English football, similar to what he has done with other signings during his reign.
The midfielder had only played 21 minutes of league action (last weekend against Huddersfield), along with some cameo appearances in the first two group games and a start in the Carabao Cup clash against Chelsea.
The clash against Red Star presented itself as the perfect moment for Fabinho to take centre stage and he did not disappoint.
Van Dijk had a perfect vantage point watching on from the heart of defence and The Express reported that he was very impressed with what he observed.
"I think he [Fabinho] was fantastic, he won a lot of balls, great passes and was very important in our win tonight."
The stat line of Fabinho showed the sort of overall impact he made, winning nine tackles, five successful aerial duels and a 90% successful passing rate.
With the emergence of Fabinho, Adam Lallana returning to full fitness, along with the evergreen Milner and ultra consistent Gini Wijnaldum, Klopp has a pleasant headache on his hands after years of the midfield three virtually picking themselves.
That is without even mentioning club captain Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita who has not hit his straps yet and is currently out with a hamstring injury.
Van Dijk was impressed with the way the team reacted after a sluggish start.
"First of all they’re in the Champions League not for no reason, they need to be respected.
"At the beginning of the game there was a bit of chaos, a bit all over the place. After that we controlled the game.”
Liverpool's next game in Group C sees a return fixture in Belgrade in two weeks time.
The Reds now hold a one-point advantage over Napoli with Paris St Germain a further point back in third.