Liverpool midfielder Fabinho has called upon himself to step up and raise his game in the absence of the Reds’ irreplaceable club-captain Jordan Henderson.
The 29-year-old is facing a short-term spell on the treatment table after sustaining a hamstring injury during last week’s Champions League defeat against Atletico Madrid in the Spanish capital upon Liverpool’s return to the Wanda Metropolitano.
Jurgen Klopp recently delivered the extent of the injury providing an initial diagnosis of a three-week recovery period which ruled him out of the 3-2 victory against West Ham and has seen the England international out from the weekend trip to Watford.
One player who has called to step up in the absence of the Reds’ midfield general is Fabinho. The former Monaco star has recently recovered from ligament damage and has started in Liverpool’s previous two matches against West Ham and Atletico.
Speaking with Liverpool’s official website, Fabinho has outlined the physical and mental attributes that will be required in the club’s pursuit of Premier League and Champions League glory.
He said: “Hendo has been one of the team’s best players this season, without a doubt.
“His performances have been really good and his presence on the pitch doesn’t just help us with the ball, but also with his attitude. He is the captain.
“Now I need to try to help the team out with this kind of leadership; of course, we have different personalities, but hopefully I can help a bit in this respect.
“As I said, Hendo has been one of the team’s best players and he’ll undoubtedly be missed, but this team has shown, even with important players missing, we’ve maintained our high standards.
“Unfortunately, it was Hendo that got injured this time around, but it is an opportunity for other players to show they’re up to the task, that they can come in and make a difference as well.”
What RTK has to say
One player who supporters will be desperate to see a return back to his brilliant best is Brazilian powerhouse Fabinho. The Brazil international has only started two matches since sustaining ligament damage during Liverpool’s 1-1 stalemate with Napoli in November.
Fabinho was in the form of his life prior to the ankle problem and had cemented himself as one of Europe’s best holding midfield. The man described by Pep Llinders as Liverpool’s very-own ‘lighthouse’ was an ever-present member of Jurgen Klopp’s midfield triumvirate and only missed one Premier League match before the injury due to fears of a potential booking ruling him out of the fixture against Manchester City.
The 26-year-old needs to rekindle the aura that left opponents terrified every time the Brazil international came charging into a tackle. It was this time last year that the former Real Madrid star started to blossom after a slow start to his Anfield career following a £43m [BBC Sport] summer from Monaco.
initially, he struggled to keep up with the pace of the English game and failed to earn the trust of his manager Klopp in the opening months of his Anfield tenure. His early struggles were typified by his tendency of dropping too deep, wanting too many touches and being wasteful in possession.
Yet he took his manager’s comments on board and grew into the player he is today. He became the hallmark of consistency in the second half of last season en route to European glory in Madrid and took his game to another level in the 2019/20 campaign.
Fabinho’s talents have become fundamental to Liverpool’s midfield operation. He is so adept at shutting down space and retrieving possession for his team that he has become the building block to starting counter-attacks and punishing teams on the break.
When there were fears of a potential title derail when Fabinho was forced out on the sidelines it was Henderson who stood up to the plate. Now that the tables have turned it is the Liverpool No.3’s opportunity of showcasing how indispensable he is to Klopp’s winning-machine of a team.