Fabinho not the answer, as Klopp urged to play ‘surprise’ star in defence

Date published: Tuesday 27th October 2020 6:39 - Jonny Whitfield

Wijnaldum Henderson TEAMtalk

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp should consider midfielder and captain Jordan Henderson as a reliable deputy at centre-back, according to one pundit.

The Reds have used Fabinho alongside Joe Gomez for their past two games since Virgil van Dijk’s injury.

However, Liverpool must settle on a favoured pairing given Van Dijk is unlikely to feature again this season.

And while previous reports have suggested Klopp could enter the January transfer market, Kevin Phillips believes Henderson can be the “surprise” star to fill the void.

“You would not say Gomez has started the season well but last night (against Sheffield United) will have helped him and he will only get better and better,” the pundit told Football Insider.

“Hopefully Gomez and Fabinho can forge a partnership that can stand the test of time until Virgil van Dijk gets back.

“I am going to put it out there, I actually think Jordan Henderson could play centre-half. I think that he has that knowledge and that knowhow. He has the energy, the pace and that range of passing.

“I think he could surprise people and plug the gap left by van Dijk at centre-half.”



Henderson has featured once before at centre-back, during last season’s successful Club World Cup campaign.

The 30-year-old played alongside his fellow England international Gomez against Mexican side Monterrey.

Indeed, the skipper impressed in that game but Klopp has since had no thoughts about playing him there again.

Fabinho remains the favoured partner in Van Dijk’s absence, the Brazilian playing three times this season.

His first outing of the campaign came as he kept Chelsea forward Timo Werner at bay at Stamford Bridge. The Brazilian has since played against Ajax and Sheffield United.

Klopp wary of Midtjylland challenge

Jurgen Klopp TEAMtalk

Meanwhile, Fabinho and Gomez are likely to play again on Tuesday against Danish side Midtjylland.

The two sides clash at Anfield in their second Group D clash of this season’s Champions League.

And while the Reds are overwhelming favourites, Klopp has insisted that his players face a “proper fight”.

Read more…

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