Jurgen Klopp knows the perfect midfield tandem capable of leading Liverpool FC towards a successful end to the season, according to Ian Wright.
The Reds went into the international break feeling a little bit better about themselves. A 1-0 win at Wolves rekindled hopes for the top four, while a win against RB Leipzig ensured progress to the Champions League quarter-finals.
Their season reached a new nadir after five successive home defeats. The only way, admittedly, was up. Our latest Red Letter column examined in detail their chances of a top-four finish and more Champions League glory.
Two factors appear to have kickstarted their improvement. One is the blossoming partnership of Nat Phillips and Ozan Kabak in defence. The other is the return to midfield of Fabinho. He’s been declared the ‘real victim’ of Virgil van Dijk’s horror injury by Pep Lijnders.
Now though, Wight believes Klopp is finally getting chance to play his dream partnership in midfield. And he says he expects that to ensure a successful end to the season.
“To see Fabinho and Thiago in the midfield is something he would have been dreaming off Jurgen Klopp and now it’s finally happening,” he said on the Kelly and Wrighty show.
“Hopefully that will be enough to trigger the front guys.”
Thiago has taken time to find his feet at Liverpool, but Wright feels Fabinho’s return to the midfield can help bring out his best.
And the Spain star looked the part in their recent 2-0 win over Leipzig in Budapest, as Klopp stated.
“I assume when you all look at Liverpool from Germany, people say it’s (the problems) to do with Thiago or whatever – that’s rubbish,” Klopp said after the second leg.
“For the players who were new, they always needed time to get used to our gameplan but Thiago doesn’t have that.
“But he improves week on week. It is not a short-term project, it is a long-term project and it was good.”
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Fabinho the’ world’s best No 6′
Dutchman Lijnders, meanwhile, has explained why he rates the Brazilian as one of the world’s best No 6’s.
“That’s why when we speak about team development we are speaking indirectly about individual development. Our idea forces this individual development.
“You get someone who is only concerned about making the team better, there is no space for ego. He is a real team player,” he said of Fabinho.
“Luckily we have three of them, Gini and Hendo have this characteristic as well.
“Having two midfielders like that is like the queen in the chess game. You lose the queen, who defends in offence.
“There is a reason why the better chess players just give up when they lose the queen.
“You need two who can control a game by being dominant without the ball. That’s what we are searching for.”