Jürgen Klopp has reiterated his satisfaction with the starts made by Fabinho and Naby Keita at Liverpool as he outlined the long-term thinking for both midfielders.
Brazil international Fabinho started four of the last five Reds matches before the international break and the manager emphatically rejected speculation about the No.3 when asked at his pre-Watford press conference.
“He was ever one for the future. Is he settling? Yes. He played and he did well, so it’s all good,” said Klopp.
“Now is coming up the most intense period of the year, of the whole season; it’s unbelievable how many games we have now. That’s good, we knew that before.
“He used the time to adjust to what we want him to do. That was really good. The last games he played were pretty much all good or better. So, all fine.
“Of course he will not leave. I don’t talk about transfers but if you want to ask, nobody leaves here. That would be completely crazy – he doesn’t want to, it’s only the crazy world out there that people, if they don’t play in the last five games, immediately open kind of a transfer market. We are not involved in that.”
Keita, meanwhile, returned to Liverpool action after a hamstring injury as a late substitute in the 2-0 home win against Fulham last time out.
Quizzed on the Guinea international’s condition and his fledgling months at Anfield, the boss replied: “The start was rather good than average. He played really well in the beginning.
“He came back tired [from international duty], that’s how it is if you have these long flights and three stops on the way back and stuff like that. It’s not too cool but yesterday he was in training. The day before he didn’t train but yesterday he was in training and looked completely fine.
“There’s nothing to judge. Naby has to – and can – of course improve. He has to learn the language and stuff like that. There are a lot of things he can do but it’s a long-term project.
“We have this wonderful player in our squad and we will use him: now, short-term, long-term, future, we will use him. He is here exactly in the right place.
“I understand that you have to ask about different players but it’s all good with the boys. They are here and how it looks in the moment, apart from two or three, we have them all together.
“Hopefully it stays like that and you will see all of them, in important games and important moments. Hopefully we can make sure they are then in the best shape they can be and get the points for us. That’s the plan.”