Fabinho reportedly returns to training this week. It’s the best possible news for Liverpool ahead of Leicester City.
The Mirror reports that Fabinho returns to first-team training this week. The Brazilian has been out since going off against FC Midtjylland.
Make no mistake – this news is as good as it gets for Liverpool right now.
There is zero chance that either Virgil van Dijk or Joe Gomez make it back anytime soon, after all. And as good as Trent Alexander-Arnold is, Fabinho is more important right now.
Liverpool need players who can play centre-half, preferably senior players. Fabinho has shown he can do that since his £39m move and even if he’s a risk-taker in the role, he’s good.
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Fabinho being back would mean Liverpool can set up with Fabinho and Matip in the heart of defence. That’s a clear improvement on anything else they could put forward.
Neco Williams is natural cover for Alexander-Arnold on the right, or James Milner could play the role.
But the Reds lacked equivalents once Gomez had surgery. Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips are good players but they’re unknowns.
Neither have experience with top-flight senior football beyond what we’ve seen this season.
Neco Williams, to use that example, spent the latter half of last season as a first-team option. He’s trained as one, prepared as one, and has international football with Wales on top of that.
So Fabinho being back means Liverpool can at least set their team up with planned first-team options. For a challenge as tough as Leicester, that’s huge.
Now, they won’t have Mohamed Salah and Thiago is still out. Jordan Henderson and Andy Robertson are worries, too.
But no matter what, they’ll have first-team players out there. Players they have considered all season and have their plans for.