Fabinho demonstrated to Jurgen Klopp why is among Liverpool’s growing list of irreplaceable of talents.
The Brazilian maestro was utterly imperious against Arsenal as he returned into his more naturally suited defensive midfield position.
All night, Fabinho frustrated Arsenal as Liverpool’s defensive anchor and continually nullified the threat Mikel Arteta’s team looked to oppose on the counter-attack.
It was another outstanding display following his heroics in central defence the previous week against Chelsea and his versatility to Klopp is among several reasons why Fabinho is arguably Liverpool’s most indispensable squad member.
Against Arsenal, he made three tackles, produced three interceptions, made one key pass and enjoyed a pass success rate of 96% according to WhoScored.
One of the standout moments of the match occurred during the second half, with Liverpool only a goal to the good despite total domination against an Arsenal side that managed just four shots all match to the Reds’ 21.
With the game still in the balance, Arsenal broke on the counter-attack with the ball falling to the feet of Willian who looked to bypass his way down the right flank only to run into the hulking frame that is Fabinho who timed his tackle to perfection to retrieve possession back for his team.
It typified just how important Fabinho is in transition as his defensive qualities ensure Liverpool can maintain a high-line in defence as he is very rarely beaten in one-on-one situations.
In Liverpool’s previous two matches, Fabinho has produced more tackles and interceptions than any other player.
He is comfortably the best central defensive midfielder in the Premier League and his importance to Liverpool seems to grow with each passing week.
Whether it’s in defence or midfield, Fabinho [£39 million] has proven he will always deliver for his team. As a unit, the midfield trio were exemplary both on and off the ball, allaying any fears that Liverpool could indeed suffer without the presence of Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcântara.
It typifies the need for depth and vindicates why Klopp was so desperate to improve the bulk of his squad all summer long. Liverpool are now blessed with an array of options to transform the dynamic of matches in multiple formats.
The fact that Curtis Jones couldn’t get on the pitch following his man-of-the-match performance against Lincoln last week was telling and showcased that competition for places in the Liverpool squad have never been higher.
With less than a week to go in the transfer market, Liverpool have laid down a marker to the rest of the league that it is going to take something special to stop the Klopp juggernaut from reclaiming their Premier League crown.
Even in a squad littered with so many world-class options, Fabinho continues to demonstrate that his presence in the team is perhaps just as significant as any member of Klopp’s world-conquering group of players.
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