Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp have managed the absence of Fabinho in brilliant style. The 26-year-old midfielder has been ruled out since November after suffering an ankle ligament injury. During his absence the Reds have won 12 of 13 games in all competitions, picking up the Club World Cup in the process.
The only blemish on our record came against Aston Villa who basically beat our youth team in the Carabao Cup. So exactly how have Liverpool been this good despite losing such a vital player?
Jordan Henderson has operated in a more advanced role in the early stages of the season. The Reds captain was enjoying great success further up the pitch and was playing some of his best football. However, the Brazil midfielder’s injury meant Henderson was forced back into a more defensive position. Despite his change of roles, the performances have been the same, top quality every time. His willingness, determination and ability have meant Liverpool have barely felt the absence of Fabinho. The nine clean sheets we have picked up over the past 13 games are testament to how successful he’s been.
Despite his elite level performances our ability to effectively manage Fabinho’s absence isn’t all down to our captain. During his time side-lined several fringe players have stepped into the side and played well. England duo Alex Oxlade-Chamerlain and Adam Lallana have both played great whenever called upon. But it is Naby Keita who has shone during the Christmas period. The Guinea international has finally started to show why Liverpool paid a record fee for him back in 2017. Keita has scored goals, assisted his teammates and linked up well with Mo Salah at times. He’ll be hoping to regain his place and continue his fine form after returning from a groin injury. Although he may face stiff competition with Fabinho on the verge of full fitness.