Liverpool opinion – Klopp should start Fabinho ahead of Jordan Henderson
However, in the win against Tottenham, Jurgen Klopp started with a midfield consisting of Jordan Henderson. Safe to say, that didn’t work out because the Liverpool captain gave the ball away too many times and wasn’t able to control the midfield when the away side began asserting pressure.
Moments after Fabinho came on, we saw a better version of Liverpool’s midfield. The Brazilian won the important duels and passed the ball with more zip and accuracy.
Here’s why Klopp would be right to replace Henderson with Fabinho for the remainder of league games this season:
Fabinho’s overall game is better than Henderson
Since arriving from Monaco for £43.7m last summer, Fabinho understandably took some time to settle in at Liverpool. However, since the turn of the year, the Brazilian international has been sensational in defensive midfield.
The thing with him is his ability to stay calm with or without possession. The 25-year-old is pretty decisive and always seems to be in the right position when making tackles and interceptions (2.1 and 1 per game respectively). This makes it easy for the team to play on the counter-pressing system.
As for Henderson, he is good in possession and has a good range of passing, but his defensive contributions as a defensive midfielder lets him down at times.
If we take the game against Tottenham as an example, the Englishman was guilty of giving away possession and not being in the right place to protect the backline.
As a result, Spurs were able to control the game in the second half and were easily getting in between the lines to create chances. Furthermore, Henderson’s tackle and interception rate is less than Fabinho at 1.5 and 0.9 respectively. (Whoscored.com)
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It is pretty clear that both Fabinho and Henderson are quality players. But the former is hands down better when it comes to playing in the defensive midfield position. Hence, Klopp must start the £43.7m signing in the remaining league games if Liverpool are to stay in touch in this title race.
Henderson did come on as a substitute against Southampton and make an impact but Fabinho’s presence is much more crucial since he helps the Reds win the second balls in the opposition half.