Liverpool must consider Jordan Henderson before moving for another defender this summer. The Reds have some options to choose from.
Liverpool could very well move for a centre-half this summer. They sold Dejan Lovren, for one, and haven’t replaced him. Comments from Jurgen Klopp suggest he wants a fourth senior player in the position, too.
We wrote in late July that Liverpool face a complex decision on this one. Do they sign a replacement? Do they promote youth? There’s also the option of Fabinho, who we labelled a luxury for this kind of thing.
The Brazilian is the most interesting option. He has played centre-half on occasion and Liverpool’s abundance of midfield options offer cover for his natural role.
But that plan could fall apart if Henderson isn’t fit.
Questions for the captain
Henderson is the obvious cover for Fabinho and, arguably, the only reliable alternative as a holding midfielder. He’s a fantastic one, though, and we have the two as the best in the country.
But Henderson is now 30 and he missed the final games of the season with an injury. That’s a problem if Fabinho is the fix.
If Henderson isn’t reliably fit, Liverpool can’t afford to move Fabinho from holding midfield. It would be far too risky to have Fabinho at centre-half for any prolonged period of time as without Henderson covering him, Liverpool would be very weak down the middle.
They’d have two players out of position, after all, with Fabinho in defence and whoever would then cover the Brazilian instead of Henderson.
Then there’s the fact that if Fabinho can’t as a centre-half – and there’s no guarantee he can – Henderson would be the leading choice to replace him. But if the captain isn’t fit, he can’t be the cover.
And so Liverpool would need to be sure on Henderson before opting for Fabinho as a defender. If they can’t trust the captain to be available, they’ll simply have to sign someone.
Suggestions are that they would want Ben White, then. But as the player could cost £30m, we wouldn’t blame Liverpool if they went with Fabinho. As long as Henderson is fit, of course.