Fabinho was everyone’s Man of the Match last night, and rightly so.
Liverpool beat Ajax 1-0 thanks to the Brazilian, who put in a stellar performance at centre-back alongside Joe Gomez.
The only games Liverpool have kept a clean-sheet this season (we’re not counting the EFL Cup) have been when Fabinho has played centre-back, and if you include the Bayern Munich game from 2019, he’s done it in his past three games in the position.
According to Jurgen Klopp, Fab actually prefers playing in central defence than right-back, which he used to play for AS Monaco and still occasionally does for Brazil.
“This combination had not played together so they need to get used to each other, the verbal commands, what you need to say to the midfield,” he told his post-match press-conference.
“Fabinho can play the position, he likes playing it actually. If I asked him to play right-back I don’t think he would enjoy it as much.
“I’m not surprised Fabinho plays in the position, otherwise I would have thought about a different solution.
“It was a good performance but there is a lot to improve, that is good. It was absolutely good tonight and we’d like it to carry on.
“We are not dumb enough to think we didn’t need a bit of luck as Fabinho needed to make a proper stretch to get that ball from the line and they hit the post.
“A clean sheet is one information but we could have done better. I don’t care in the moment as we wanted to win the game and we have done that.”
Fabinho is going to play in central defence for us a lot this season, and if he can continue in his current vein, we might just make it through without Virgil van Dijk.
With Thiago’s best position as a no.6 though, it enables our new signing to anchor the midfield, with Jordan Henderson and one other either side, should Klopp not be able to field Joe Gomez alongside Joel Matip at the back.