Jurgen Klopp should have included Jordan Henderson and Fabinho in the Liverpool line-up for today’s draw with Chelsea.
That’s the view of Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard. A guest in the studio for BT Sport this for this afternoon’s game, Gerrard said he was ‘surprised’ that neither player started for the Reds.
“I was surprised with the team selection,” he said. “I thought in this fixture he would have put Henderson and Fabinho in to be more aggressive and try jump on Chelsea higher up.”
It was perhaps a slight surprise to see Fabinho in particular omitted from the XI. But with young Stefan Bajcetic doing so well midweek against Wolves, it wasn’t a huge shock to see him get another chance.
Klopp keeps faith in new-look midfield
There were suggestions from Klopp leading up to the game that he would hand a first Premier League start to Bajcetic.
But with the implications of the game being pretty huge, we didn’t think he’d do it. In that respect, you have to give Jurgen credit for trying something different.
You also have to give the manager his due for going with players in form.
Although Fabinho and Henderson have been part of Liverpool’s best midfield for years, they’ve both been poor this season.
Bajcetic, on the other hand has stood up to every challenge posed to him this campaign. It was no doubt a big vote of confidence in the 18-year-old, but he did well yet again vs Chelsea.
Naby Keita was the man chosen to start over Henderson, and this looked like another good decision from the manager.
It was a surprise to see Keita taken off just after the hour, in fact. The Guinean was lively and broke up the play well for Liverpool. There’s no question that the midfield looks far better with him in it for the time being.
As a result, you could see Klopp trotting this trio out once again next time out against Brighton. The Henderson/Thiago/Fabinho triangle was ripped to shreds last week at the Amex. So, despite what Gerrard thinks, this new-look three actually appear to add a little more steel than the tried and tested combination.