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Fabinho comments show why he has become invaluable to Liverpool

Fabinho returned into the heart of defence to put in another imperious performance for Liverpool.

It was a daunting task given the Brazilian’s qualities in midfield had to be sacrificed following the long-term injury to Virgil van Dijk.

Alongside Joe Gomez, Fabinho was absolutely outstanding and his contribution during the 1-0 win against Ajax was immense.

Tough and resilient as ever, yet what was even more impressive was his reading of the game and his ability to snuff out danger. In quick time, the former Monaco star has become one of Liverpool’s most valuable players.

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – OCTOBER 21: (THE SUN OUT,THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Fabinho of Liverpool cleares the liverpool line during the UEFA Champions League Group D stage match between Ajax Amsterdam and Liverpool FC at Johan Cruijff Arena on October 21, 2020 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

The secret it seems for Fabinho, is to try to and emulate Van Dijk but also to remember his own qualities that have made him one of the club’s most consistent players since he signed back in 2018.

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Speaking to ViaPlay Football, Fabinho said: “Tactically, I have to be always ready for the long balls and try to organise the team. It’s not easy but I have to do what Virgil always does – talk to the team.

“I have to try and be a leader. Of course, I’m not Virgil but I will do my best.

“While it’s very important to keep the clean sheet for the confidence of the team, that’s very good.

“The manager said to me I have to talk more to the team and organise them, so I tried to do this role.”

Liverpool’s Brazilian midfielder Fabinho warms up prior to the UEFA Champions League Group D first-leg football match between Ajax Amsterdam and Liverpool FC at the Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam on October 21, 2020. (Photo by Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP) (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)

The midfielder went on to reveal how he reacted to the news of Van Dijk’s ACL tear that is expected to keep him out for the rest of the season.

Fabinho added: “When I heard Virgil was out for a long time, it was a little bit of a shock. First of all, I think he’s the best defender in the world. And he’s a leader on the team.

“Of course, we will miss this but we have to keep going and try to do the best to win the games for him.

“We have Thiago [Alcantara], Alisson [Becker] and Joel [Matip] missing as well but they are trying to recover as quickly we possible.

“We have to try and win every game.”

In the absence of the irreplaceable Dutchman, Fabinho stepped up immeasurably for his team putting in one of the finest defensive performances we have seen in a long time. We even went as far to give him a 10/10 rating in last night’s victory.

His comments underline why Klopp has maintained faith that even following the loss of Van Dijk, the Reds boss remains confident with the options he still has.

“Yes, we went into the season with three centre-backs and Fabinho as cover. And some young kids as cover. That is usually quite a good number”, was the manager’s spikey response when questioned whether he made a mistake not dipping into the market for another central defensive option in the previous summer window.

This stems from the team’s ability to fight in the face of adversity. Whenever this Liverpool side has been thrown an obstacle, Klopp has installed a mentality that has enabled them to overcome it.

Without Van Dijk, watching from home with his knee in a brace, Europe wanted to know how the Reds would cope. Klopp maintained that his team would deal with any setback thrown their direction, that they would silence the doubters in the only way they know how to – with results.

Overall, Fabinho rounded off a complete performance with four tackles, nine clearences and four interceptions.

Reaction

Here is a look at how fans reacted to Fabinho’s comments…

 

 

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