Liverpool fans feel Fabinho has a clear status in the squad right now. This is especially true after the Reds drew 2-2 with Brighton.
Liverpool played out a disappointing draw with Brighton on Saturday afternoon. It was the Reds’ homecoming after a month of away games but they failed to deliver.
Though, it didn’t look that way from the start. Liverpool actually came out of the gates flying, taking a lead inside four minutes with a well-worked goal.
And it wasn’t too long before Liverpool had a second. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, on as a substitute for an injured Naby Keita, provided a magnificent cross for Sadio Mane to score.
But while Liverpool’s midfield looked good going forward there, they’d quickly become a reason for many to worry. With Oxlade-Chamberlain’s introduction, the XI now had the 28-year-old alongside Curtis Jones, with Jordan Henderson playing a holding role.
That’s unquestionably a very attacking midfield and, as it turned out, probably the wrong one for this kind of game.
Brighton were willing to attack Liverpool, especially after pulling a goal back. They pressed high, looked to push numbers between the lines and the Reds lacked control.
There wasn’t anyone there to truly shut Brighton down. No one, either, who could get on the ball in deep areas and keep it comfortably.
For many, it was evidence of just how important Fabinho is right now. The Brazilian missed the game through injury, as he did against Manchester United last Sunday.
But for this particular game, where Liverpool needed to win back control, he was a big miss. Fans believe Fabinho is one of the most important players at the club now – on a par with anyone.
Fans on Fabinho status
Liverpool definitely missed Fabinho against Brighton. Far more than they did against a Manchester United side that never had control.
But as the Seagulls consistently pushed between the lines, it was clear that Liverpool needed a more solid presence in there. Jones and Oxlade-Chamberlain can work in theory, but likely only with someone very defensive playing that holding role.
This shouldn’t be news, though. We saw the same thing happen last season as Fabinho’s return to midfield led to dramatic improvement in all areas.
That’s still very much the case – he’s one of the world’s absolute best holding players and the only natural one Liverpool have. As good as Henderson is, he’s not capable of holding together such an attacking midfielder together.
But in all honesty, Liverpool still should have seen this game out. They had a 2-0 lead at home, could have scored more, but let things slip badly. Fabinho would have made things far easier, however – there’s no denying that.