Klopp names Liverpool’s most consistent star; slams ‘really picky’ criticism of duo

Nathaniel Phillips Sheff Utd v Liverpool February 2021

Jurgen Klopp remains unsure whether Fabinho will slot back into the Liverpool side as a deputy centre-back or return to the midfield.

The Brazilian will return from a muscle injury on Thursday, with Klopp revealing that he has “five or six” full training sessions under his belt.

Before he suffered the issue, however, he had filled in at the back amid Liverpool’s shortage of options.

He had also played alongside fellow midfielder Jordan Henderson, who is now out until April with a groin problem.

Despite that, Klopp has a decision to make; Nathaniel Phillips and January singing Ozan Kabak have formed Liverpool‘s 18th centre-back partnership of the season, playing against Everton and Sheffield United.

Asked about his plans for Fabinho, the manager also named who he believes is Liverpool’s most consistent player.

He said (via the Liverpool Echo): “Both is possible, it’s good and it gives us options.  I think if we can find a way to bring Fab back into midfield, it will be in some games quite helpful.

“The most consistent player this season is Gini Wijnaldum – long may it continue. He played the six, he played pretty much all the positions and all these kind of things.

Liverpool v Chelsea Match Preview, March 04, 2021

A look ahead to the Premier League game between Liverpool and Chelsea, including stats on form, possession, shots, cards, corners, top scorers and previous meetings.

“But with Fab in the six, in some games it would be absolutely helpful so we will see. Both things are really intense.

“In the past we had to bring the players back immediately because another player left the pitch the game before injured. This time we don’t have to do that, for the first time maybe.”

Debate then ensued over how many partnerships Liverpool have used at the back. Indeed, Klopp said he had heard the number 20 floated around.

He also said he heard criticism of Phillips and Kabak, which he was keen to address.

Klopp addresses Kabak, Phillips criticism

Alisson Becker, Ozan Kabak Leicester v Liverpool February 2021

“Stability would always be great if you could do that, but there’s no need because both did really well,” Klopp said.

“I heard – because I didn’t see it in the game – I heard people were quite critical with both of them which is really picky to be honest.

“But yeah, stability would be great, but we changed it that often maybe we make a habit of it. I don’t know. I know, but I will not say here what we do.”

Liverpool return to action against Chelsea on Thursday, with the Reds winning 5-3 at Anfield last season before lifting the Premier League trophy.

READ MORE: Kabak reveals key advice Van Dijk has given him