We think Fabinho performed sensationally in the second half of this season after winning an automatic starting spot in Jurgen Klopp’s midfield.
The Brazilian is consistent, physically imposing, provides tackles and interceptions galore and passes it quickly.
But former Red Stan Collymore reckons we need to buy a new defensive midfielder in the mould of Manchester City’s Fernandinho – which we actually strongly disagree with.
“On the pitch, Klopp needs a midfielder who, like Fernandinho at City, will function at 9.8/10 over a season and a striker who will challenge Roberto Firmino on a regular basis, as well as a couple more to flesh out the squad,” Collymore wrote in the Mirror.
“And he will already be thinking about those upgrades. Because while City will still be most people’s favourites for the title next season, Klopp has taken his side from being a third of the way to where the Blue Moonies are, to being three-quarters of the way there. I’m not sure if that gap will ever close fully, given City’s resources, but there’s no better time for Liverpool to narrow it further than after a Champions League triumph.”
Fabinho will be tremendous next term – and with Naby Keita settled and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain returning – Jurgen Klopp will have far improved options for the box-to-box roles as well – especially with Jordan Henderson now an established ‘no.8’ again.
Liverpool will be fighting Manchester City for top spot again – and will need to be practically perfect (again!) to achieve Premier League title glory. If you think the Reds can do it, or that Mo Salah can be top scorer or Virgil van Dijk POTY, check out what is a yankee bet and make some predictions ahead of 2019/20.
We do agree with Collymore though that a forward is required. However, while he wants a striker to compete with Bobby, we’d prefer a wide, versatile attacker – someone more in the mould of Mo Salah or Sadio Mane than our no.9. After all, our African flyers were incredibly lucky with injuries this term, and next season we not get so lucky.
This is because Salah can play centrally and Firmino is barely ever unavailable – so will start most matches anyway.
Our choice would be Nicolas Pepe, but we’ll wait to see who Klopp goes for.
The Lille man is rapid, scores goals and can play on either flank. He’ll surely depart the French club this summer, so it depends on whether Michael Edwards decides to take the hit.