Liverpool had their worst start to a Premier League season in a decade but have started to pick up points and climb the table after their second consecutive league victory over West Ham United on Wednesday night.
The Reds are now seventh in the league table just four points off the top four, and Jurgen Klopp will be hoping this newfound confidence in the team will help them seal their third win in a row and another victory when they face Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
Many of the players have benefited from the formation and tactical changes implemented by the German coach over the last few weeks but there has been one player who has been looking off the pace and is continuing to struggle despite the improved performances from his teammates surrounding him.
Fabinho has been a stalwart in the heart of Liverpool’s team ever since he joined the club back in 2018, but since returning to action at the beginning of the season has failed to make a positive impact in his position and has since lost his opportunities to start in the team on many occasions already.
The £180k-per-week Brazilian midfielder, who has been criticised for his “sharp decline” by Jack Moore, has started seven of the first ten Premier League outings for the Merseyside giants, and his output reflects exactly why the player is no longer one of the first names on the team-sheet.
Over ten appearances, Fabinho has been dribbled past 1.1 times per game, is winning possession less than once per performance (0.7) and has lost the majority of his defensive duels (51%).
With that in mind, Klopp must consider his long-term future, with any possible new signing in January or summer meaning he should be ditched from the team.
In fact, in his most recent performance against the Hammers last night, the midfielder proved again why Klopp is favouring Jordan Henderson in his position.
The Liverpool ace who was once hailed “class” by Klopp, got the nod from his manager in the 57th minute to replace Thiago Alcantara and during his 32-minute appearance, the 28-year-old was dribbled past twice, lost possession of the ball every four touches and only won one of his four duels.
Whilst Fabinho has been declining, Henderson has been thriving in the formation change and proved this week he can still offer his team a solid presence in midfield with 106 touches, 80 accurate passes and winning 100% of his ground duels against West Ham.
With that being said, it won’t be surprising to see the Liverpool captain keep his place in the starting line-up alongside Thiago when the Merseysiders head to The City Ground on Saturday, as three points against Steve Cooper’s side are crucial for the club’s progression back into the top spots of the league table.