Former Liverpool defender Jose Enrique has given his verdict regarding whether or not Jurgen Klopp’s squad is significantly stocked particularly in the defensive department.
The Premier League champions have so far made three summer signings in the form of Kostos Tsimikas, Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota.
However, there has been an area of concern amongst a selected group of supporters that Liverpool still require cover in the centre-back department following the departure of Dejan Lovren to Zenit St Petersburg last month.
Liverpool midfielder Fabinho was forced to cover in central defence at the weekend during Liverpool’s 2-0 victory at Chelsea following injuries to both Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.
The Brazilian international was outstanding at the back alongside Virgil van Dijk and luckily for Liverpool, there was no drop-off in quality despite two of the club’s three senior centre backs unavailable for selection.
While Gomez should be back in training this week, Matip faces up to a month out with his latest niggle, with both having been absent for Sunday’s Premier League win at Chelsea.
Fabinho deputised perfectly as Liverpool maintained their 100 per cent start to the season with Klopp declaring that he would have been the man of the match if not for Sadio Mane’s game-winning brace.
There had been reports that Liverpool could look to add Schalke’s Ozan Kabak to their defensive ranks in order to avoid the need for Fabinho to have to give up his holding midfield duties over a sustained period this season.
However, reputable Liverpool journalist James Pearce recently confirmed that the club’s summer transfer business is all but finished following the Reds’ £45 million signing of Jota from Wolves.
Club sources are said to have dismissed speculation that Liverpool could indeed make a move for the Turkish defender, aged 20.
Enrique backed this particular notion after the Spaniard claimed that Liverpool’s defensive options are all but ‘sorted’ with Fabinho utilised as Klopp’s fourth-choice centre back.
Fabinho – who signed in 2018 for a fee of £39 million [BBC] from Monaco – was utterly imperious against Chelsea at the weekend. Mane will deservedly earn the plaudits but it was the midfield powerhouse who was the standout performer at Stamford Bridge.
“I just told him as well I think he was Man of the Match,” said his central defensive partner Virgil van Dijk.
“To keep out a striker like [Timo] Werner and don’t let him score, overall he was outstanding.
“Everyone knows how good he is but it shows also that we need everyone. We are a bit unlucky with the injuries now but we’ll need everyone back because it’s such a long season.”
Fabinho, 26, was unplayable alongside Van Dijk. No Liverpool player could match his total of four tackles, four interceptions and regaining possession on 12 occasions. He also completed the most passes (87) with an accuracy of 97 per cent according to WhoScored.
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