Arsenal boss Unai Emery has revealed that Fabinho was a target for the club before he joined Liverpool last summer.
The Brazil international made the move to Anfield from Monaco for an initial fee of £39m and has established himself as a mainstay in Jurgen Klopp’s first team.
Emery saw Fabinho play up close during his time as Paris Saint-Germain boss in games against Monaco and quickly became a fan of the midfielder.
And the Spaniard put his name on the table as a possible signing after taking over from Arsene Wenger as Gunners boss last summer.
Fabinho is now considered to be one of the best holding midfielders in the world but he took a little time to settle at Anfield.
And Emery used the 26-year-old as an example when he was asked about Nicolas Pepe, Arsenal’s new club record signing from Lille.
The Gunners boss splashed out a fee in excess of £70m to recruit the Ivory Coast international this summer, but he has yet to make the desired impact for his new club.
He has scored just once, a penalty in a 3-2 win over Aston Villa, and missed a fine chance to open the scoring as Arsenal slipped to a 1-0 loss at Sheffield United on Monday night.
But has Emery has pointed to Fabinho’s first few months with Liverpool where he struggled for a while and says it may take Pepe a little while also.
“We spent money with Pepe, but Pepe needs time to adapt to the Premier League,” he said.
“For example, in France I loved a lot Fabinho. 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.
“The first six months he didn’t play, it was adaptation. But now he is amazing and I want the same with (Dani) 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 is likely to sit out Thursday night’s Europa League Group F clash at home to Vitoria Guimaraes – but Emery could yet opt to include him in his side to give him another chance to impress.