Jordan Henderson has spoken about Brazilian teammate, Fabinho, ahead of the Reds’ tie with Tottenham, praising his brilliant performances filling out in the back as Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez remain sidelined.
The makeshift defender has been a revelation in the centre of defence, with few anticipating just how effective the midfielder would perform in the role – of course, it was not quite as a surprise for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
“It might seem strange that I’m speaking of a Brazilian international in this manner but in its own way, this campaign has presented Fab with a different challenge to the one he has been used to since coming to Liverpool and he has responded to it magnificently,” Hendo said in his programme notes (via the Echo). “It isn’t surprising that he has reacted as positively as he has because Fab is a top-class professional and his skillset lends itself to playing in a number of roles. But his consistency in an unfamiliar role has been incredible and long may that continue.”
One has to remark that we’ve been supremely unlucky to have been robbed of both our starting centre-backs for much of the season so early.
On the flip-side of the coin, however, our fortune in finding such a solid replacement without having to wait for the reopening of the transfer market in January must be commended.
This isn’t a situation that will last, of course, given Joel Matip’s propensity to fall apart when relied on for a run of games, and it would be more than brave on Klopp’s part to rely on either Rhys Williams or Nathaniel Phillips for the rest of the season.
There’s always the possibility for Klopp to surprise us all and put his faith in the Academy, but it would be the highest of risks to take, and one we can’t see the German taking.