Jamie Carragher has claimed on Sky Sports (20/09/20 at 7:00 pm) that Liverpool ‘cannot trust’ Joel Matip because of his fitness issues.
Liverpool recorded a 2-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday, with Fabinho playing at centre-back and Carragher raving about his ‘outstanding’ display.
With Matip and Joe Gomez unable to feature, Fabinho stepped in alongside Virgil van Dijk at the heart of the club’s defence and he dealt with the pace of Timo Werner very well.
Carragher compared Fabinho to his fellow countryman, who has played a similar role for Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
“There’s been talk of Liverpool maybe needing a centre-back,” Carragher told Sky Sports. “Lovren has left and Joel Matip you cannot trust fitness-wise, and that just leaves Joe Gomez.
“I thought he [Fabinho] was outstanding [against Chelsea]. Normally players who play in the centre of the pitch, certainly a holding midfield role and they fill in for people at different times, they read the game really well. They have a great understanding of the game.
“At times watching Fernandinho play that position for Man City, I thought he was excellent, at times last season and he [Fabinho] was just brilliant today. I think that puts to bed any thought Liverpool may have had in needing another centre-back because they’ve got so many midfield players, and in some way, they have got to get them games. He was outstanding.”
Leeds United’s first six fixtures of 2020/21
Sheffield United (A)
Manchester City (H)
Aston Villa (A)
It isn’t a surprise that Fabinho was able to produce such a performance because ever since he has been able to settle down at Anfield, he has been one of the best defensive readers of the game.
He doesn’t have express pace, but what Fabinho does have is a calm demeanour to his game and the ability to use his physical attributes to the best of his ability.
Every time Werner was putting his foot on the accelerator and running at Liverpool’s defence, Fabinho was there like a roadblock on a number of occasions and ensuring that he wasn’t able to test Alisson Becker as much as he would have liked.