Jurgen Klopp has decided that it will be Jordan Henderson who will replace Fabinho in Liverpool’s midfield this weekend.
That’s according to The Athletic, who claim that Fabinho is certain to miss the FA Cup final on Saturday. The Brazilian is also ‘unlikely’ to be in contention for Liverpool’s two remaining Premier League games.
Instead, it will be the Liverpool captain who will deputise in Fabinho’s holding midfield role.
The Reds are hopeful that the 28-year-old will be fit to face Real Madrid in the Champions League final. He’s also been included in Brazil’s squad for next month’s internationals.
Two blows in one for Liverpool
Losing Fabinho is undoubtedly a massive blow for Liverpool. He hadn’t been in the best form over recent games, but he is still a vital component and one of the first names of the teamsheet.
Without him, Liverpool don’t really have a natural defensive midfielder. Henderson did however play two full seasons virtually exclusively in the role during the 2016/17 and 2017/18 campaigns.
It isn’t an orthodox role for the captain though. He doesn’t have the same authority as Fabinho when patrolling in-front of the defence.
Klopp even admitted that it isn’t a position Hendo likes to play too often. In an interview with The Daily Mail in 2020, the manager said the number 14 didn’t want to play holding midfield when he saw how good Fabinho was there. Klopp also called him ‘outstanding’ in the same interview
Henderson will of course give it his everything and will do everything he is asked to. But not only will Liverpool be losing Fabinho’s spectacular qualities, they’ll also miss their captain’s marauding overlapping runs.
The 31-year-old sprinting around the outside of Trent Alexander-Arnold or Mohamed Salah has become a real feature of Liverpool’s game this season. The Reds feed off the energy of Hendo’s lung-busting runs.
It’s desperately unfortunate that they’ll have to make do without that for one of the seasons biggest games.
Fingers crossed that Fabinho can get back up to speed for May 28th. In the meantime, full support behind the likely trio of Henderson, Thiago and Naby Keita in Liverpool’s midfield.