Liverpool’s form in recent weeks has seen their title hopes take a serious hit, with Sunday’s 4-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester City leading Jurgen Klopp to suggest that the aim for the Reds is now to finish in the top four.
The German manager has, of course, had a number of injuries to contend with throughout the season which have seen the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip ruled out for much of the campaign.
This has led to Fabinho moving to centre-back to cover for the lack of available players in that position, and whilst he impressed at first, he has struggled in recent performances at the back.
The Reds are also arguably lacking his presence in midfield, especially with Jordan Henderson having also featured at the back in recent fixtures, meaning that they are arguably without a defensive-minded player in the midfield three.
However, the Merseyside outfit brought in Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak as centre-back options during the winter transfer window, which hopefully could see Fabinho return to midfield in the near future.
The Brazilian international has averaged a solid 6.84 rating for his performances in the Premier League this season, averaging 2.1 tackles and 1.4 interceptions per game.
Whilst his defensive stats are similar, his passing stats have suffered as a result of him moving to centre-back, as this season he has averaged just 0.2 key passes per game, compared to the 0.7 he averaged last season.
Thiago was full of praise for Fabinho earlier this season and suggested that he is better in the defensive-midfield role, saying:
“Fabi [Fabinho] is an amazing player as a centre-back and he’s even better as a number six. I think with him at the back he gives us the security as a number six, eight or 10 to make the team play a bit more.”
Whilst the Spanish midfielder has filled the void somewhat with his tackles and interceptions in midfield, he doesn’t offer the physicality of Fabinho, so Klopp should definitely try and restore the 27-year-old to his natural position in the near future, as it could restore him to his former self, after some disappointing recent displays.
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