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'If needed': £16m Liverpool player insists he can play in Fabinho's position and is capable of replacing him

Jordan Henderson is confident that he can be Fabinho’s replacement for Liverpool while the Brazilian recovers from injury.

In an interview with Sky Sports, the Liverpool captain claimed that he is already familiar with the role having played it previously under Jurgen Klopp.

“It’s a different role altogether, but I’ve played that role for a number of years now,” said Henderson. “I’ve played it a lot this season and also over the past four or five years really. I’ve played in big games in that role.

“Yes, you do have to adapt, but that is because of the position and the role that it is. But I feel like I’m experienced in that position and can do a job, if needed, when Fabinho is out or when the gaffer has rotated and tried to keep people fresh.”

ANFIELD, LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM – 2022/03/08: Jordan Henderson (C) of Liverpool FC celebrates with Fabio Henrique Tavares (R) of Liverpool FC as Matias Vecino (L) of FC Internazionale looks dejected at the end of the UEFA Champions League round of sixteen second leg football match between Liverpool FC and FC Internazionale. FC Internazionale won 1-0 over Liverpool FC. Liverpool won 2-1 on aggregate and moved on to the next round. (Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images)

As Henderson alludes to, it isn’t as though he’s brand new to being Klopp’s lynchpin in-front of the defence. The 31-year-old did the job to decent effect during the manager’s first couple of years at the club.

The skipper played the position more often than not until Fabinho arrived in 2018, even starting a Champions League final in the role. He can now add an FA Cup final to that too, that’s something that hasn’t been lost on Henderson.

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“I’ve played in really big games there and it is a position I’m experienced and can play in,” he said. “But I can also play as a No 8 when needed as well. Obviously, I bring different qualities to the role than Fabinho and it is just trying to do as best I can whatever position I’m in.”

Not a natural fit for Hendo

It’s all well and good Hendo stepping in for Fabinho for the time being. But it really isn’t the £16m man’s best position on the pitch and it can alter the way that Liverpool play when he’s in there.

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Klopp has allayed fears that Fabinho will miss the Champions League final for Liverpool. According to the manager, the 28-year-old will comfortably be back in time to face Real Madrid.

Beyond that though, it would be great if Liverpool could have a specialist cover for Fabinho. That way, The Reds wouldn’t have to rely playing on Henderson out of position.

Hendo will of course give it everything he’s got, but it isn’t his natural position.

Liverpool look for a specialist

That could be part of the reason Liverpool are seemingly keen to get a deal done for Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni.

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He’s by no means an out-and-out defensive midfielder like Fabinho. But he looks to be a much better physical and tactical fit than a player of Henderson’s profile.

At twenty-two, he is young enough to come in, learn the role, and take it over in a few years time.

Tchouameni won’t come cheap, but the last time Liverpool decided to spend big on a Monaco central-midfielder it didn’t turn out too badly. In fact, it turned out so well, that Klopp just can’t replicate his output when he’s away.

Perhaps Tchouameni could be the man to solve that. Maybe long-term, he could be Fabinho’s replacement for Liverpool.

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