Jurgen Klopp spoke glowingly of Fabinho after the Brazilian starred against RB Leipzig. The Liverpool boss offered him high praise.
Jurgen Klopp faced a big decision with Fabinho against RB Leipzig – where should he play? There were two obvious options.
The first was to put him where he has virtually all season. Fabinho has covered as a centre-back during the injury crisis and played reasonably well.
But it was always more of a comment on the quality remaining at the club. Klopp didn’t seem to trust Nat Phillips, Rhys Williams, Ozan Kabak or might-not-be-real Ben Davies.
Fabinho’s absence from midfield left a big gap. Jordan Henderson filled it but with the captain out, too, Liverpool looked dysfunctional.
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And so Klopp made the big call and restored Fabinho to midfield. He put his faith in Phillips and Kabak – and everyone delivered.
Naturally, the boss was asked for his thoughts on the move after the 2-0 win.
Klopp on Fabinho
“It was my hope before the season [to play Fabinho in midfield] and during the season it didn’t happen, so we have to see what solutions we can find for the next games – for Wolves first and foremost,” he said, per Liverpoolfc.com.
“Of course, No.6 is his position, one of the best in the world in that position, it’s clear.
“It was not only defending-wise really good from him, he played some good stuff as well. [Fabinho’s] important for us.”
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We shouldn’t be under any illusion with this, then. Klopp rates Fabinho as a holding midfielder, first and foremost, and wants him there.
It’s on the centre-backs to keep him in midfield, then. We need consistent, reliable performances to ensure Klopp remains comfortable.
The fact he went with Phillips and Kabak in such a big game proves the boss is open to that trust. He clearly wants to play with Fabinho in midfield.
But it entirely relies on the current options maintaining that trust. Fingers crossed they do, as Liverpool are far superior like this.