Arsenal manager Unai Emery has revealed that Fabinho was on his shortlist of transfer targets before the midfield signed for Liverpool.
Liverpool paid Monaco £43.7million to sign the defensive midfielder in the summer of 2018.
However, Emery explained he had been monitoring the player since his time at Paris Saint-Germain, when Fabinho had helped Monaco clinch the Ligue 1 title in the 2016/17 season.
“He was in Monaco and I wanted to sign him for Paris Saint-Germain.
“When I arrived here, also his name was on the table to achieve to sign him, but he signed for Liverpool.”
In Fabinho’s debut season with Liverpool he wasn’t involved in their first eight Premier League games, before Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp brought him off the bench for 21 minutes against Huddersfield last October.
And Emery feels the 26-year-old is a good example of how some players need time to adapt to the Premier League and the Spaniard one ton to plead with supporters that they need to be patient with the club’s new signings, especially Nicolas Pepe and Dani Ceballos.
“The first six months he didn’t play, it was adaptation,” Emery said about Fabinho.
“But now he is amazing and I want the same with Ceballos, with Pepe.
“We need patience, but Pepe is improving. On Monday, the key to win was with him. If he scores the first goal, it’s different.
“But it’s one process and I believe in him and I know we need time and patience. The supporters have patience, some more than others.”
Pepe was a marquee signing for Emery in the summer, as the 24-year-old arrived from Lille in a deal worth £72m.
However, the winger has struggled to reproduce the form that saw him score 22 goals and provide 11 assists for Lille in all competitions last season.
Arsenal host Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes in the Europa League on Thursday night and while Pepe is not expected to start, Emery could use the game to give the winger some more minutes, as the Ivory Coast international looks to build his confidence.
Pepe has scored one goal and created three assists in 11 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal so far this season.