Liverpool’s defensive woes increased on Thursday night despite their win against Tottenham Hotspur, as Fabinho was ruled out of the game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium through injury.
The Brazilian has been one of the Reds’ most important players so far this season, as he has stepped up in the absence of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez by taking on the role of centre-back.
In his 17 appearances in the top-flight so far this season, the 27-year-old has averaged a solid 6.92 rating and has been the only centre-back in Klopp’s squad to feature more than ten times in the Premier League, due to Joel Matip’s inconsistent fitness and the German manager’s rotation of Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams.
Whilst the former Monaco man, who reportedly earns £100k per week at Liverpool, was exposed somewhat in recent fixtures against Burnley and Manchester United, he is still an incredibly important part of this Liverpool side at the moment and looks much more comfortable at centre-back than fellow defensive-midfielder Jordan Henderson, who has also featured in defence in recent fixtures.
Therefore, whilst the length of Fabinho’s injury is currently unknown, his setback must be the catalyst for the Fenway Sports Group (FSG) to act in the remaining days of the January transfer window, as it seems clear that Klopp is desperate for a centre-back.
Following the game with Spurs, the former Borussia Dortmund boss provided an update on Fabinho, saying:
“It was nothing really. He just felt something and we had to take him out. And now he’s out.
“It was not a challenge or whatever, it was not intense situations. It was just how things happen.”
He also suggested in his post-match conference that Liverpool were looking for ‘the right player’ to bring in before next Monday’s deadline, so it seems as the Reds could well dip into the transfer market after all, although they are running out of time to complete a deal.
Earlier this week, the makeshift centre-back was praised by Thiago, who dubbed him an “amazing player”, whether he’s playing in defence or in midfield.
Certainly, if Fabinho’s injury does prove to be a long-term one, then the Liverpool board must surely see sense and bring in a defender, otherwise, they run the risk of falling a long way short of retaining the Premier League title.
And, in other news… Forget Trent: LFC “machine” who made four key passes was Klopp’s star vs Spurs