Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hails ‘incredibly important’ Fabinho ahead of Tottenham visit

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits he is now spoiled for choice with midfield options but the one player who holds the key to everything is Fabinho.

The return to fitness of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita, in particular, allowed Klopp to play an attacking match in the 4-1 midweek Champions League win over Genk.

However, that game was not without its issues as Fabinho, who covered the most distance of any player on the night, was left to patrol the wide open spaces as his team-mates pushed forward but despite his best efforts at times they were over-exposed.

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Klopp accepted as much but he has so much faith in the Brazil international he has not ruled out revisiting the same midfield three in the future.

“The Genk game was a good example of how important he is. Very!” said the Reds boss.


100-1: Century countdown





1/101 The Century countdown

2/101 100. Yaya Toure

3/101 99. Harry Kane

4/101 98. Daniele De Rossi

5/101 97. Bastian Schweinsteiger

6/101 96. Vincent Kompany

7/101 95. Karim Benzema

8/101 94. Sol Campbell

9/101 93. Pepe

10/101 92. Edwin van der Sar

11/101 91. Arturo Vidal

12/101 90. Angel di Maria

13/101 89. Diego Forlan

14/101 88. Radamel Falcao

15/101 87. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

16/101 86. Robin Van Persie

17/101 85. Carlos Tevez

18/101 84. Gaizka Mendieta

19/101 83. Virgil van Dijk

20/101 82. Hernan Crespo

21/101 81. Rio Ferdinand

22/101 80. Toni Kroos

23/101 79. Juan Roman Riquelme

24/101 78. Thomas Muller

25/101 77. Mohamed Salah

26/101 76. Diego Godin

27/101 75. David Silva

28/101 74. Eden Hazard

29/101 73. Cesc Fabregas

30/101 72. Deco

31/101 71. Lilian Thuram

32/101 70. Nemanja Vidic

33/101 69. Marcelo

34/101 68. Ryan Giggs

35/101 67. Antoine Griezmann

36/101 66. Clarence Seedorf

37/101 65. Wesley Sneijder

38/101 64. Gabriel Batistuta

39/101 63. Fernando Torres

40/101 62. Ruud Van Nistelrooy

41/101 61. Claude Makélélé

42/101 60. Sergio Aguero

43/101 59. Cafu

44/101 58. Miroslav Klose

45/101 57. Kevin de Bruyne

46/101 56. Henrik Larsson

47/101 55. Xabi Alonso

48/101 54. Dennis Bergkamp

49/101 53. Gareth Bale

50/101 52. Gerard Pique

51/101 51. Robert Lewandowski

52/101 50. Javier Zanetti

53/101 49. Didier Drogba

54/101 48. Michael Ballack

55/101 47. Oliver Kahn

56/101 46. Ashley Cole

57/101 45. Pavel Nedved

58/101 44. N’Golo Kante

59/101 43. Kylian Mbappe

60/101 42. Alessandro Del Piero

61/101 41. Alessandro Nesta

62/101 40. Patrick Vieira

63/101 39. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

64/101 38. Roberto Carlos

65/101 37. Rivaldo

66/101 36. Roy Keane

67/101 35. John Terry

68/101 34. Paul Scholes

69/101 33. David Villa

70/101 32. Iker Casillas

71/101 31. Franceso Totti

72/101 30. Arjen Robben

73/101 29. Wayne Rooney

74/101 28. Raul Gonzalez

75/101 27. Manuel Neuer

76/101 26. Paolo Maldini

77/101 25. Dani Alves

78/101 24. Carles Puyol

79/101 23. Frank Lampard

80/101 22. Luka Modric

81/101 21. Samuel Eto’o

82/101 20. Neymar

83/101 19. Andrei Shevchenko

84/101 18. Steven Gerrard

85/101 17. Sergio Busquets

86/101 16. Luis Suarez

87/101 15. Luis Figo

88/101 14. Philipp Lahm

89/101 13. Gianluigi Buffon

90/101 12. Sergio Ramos

91/101 11. Andrea Pirlo

92/101 10. Fabio Cannavaro

93/101 9. Kaka

94/101 8. Zinedine Zidane

95/101 7. Thierry Henry

96/101 6. Ronaldo

97/101 5. Andres Iniesta

98/101 4. Ronaldinho

99/101 3. Xavi Hernandez

100/101 2. Cristiano Ronaldo

101/101 1. Lionel Messi

1/101 The Century countdown

2/101 100. Yaya Toure

3/101 99. Harry Kane

4/101 98. Daniele De Rossi

5/101 97. Bastian Schweinsteiger

6/101 96. Vincent Kompany

7/101 95. Karim Benzema

8/101 94. Sol Campbell

9/101 93. Pepe

10/101 92. Edwin van der Sar

11/101 91. Arturo Vidal

12/101 90. Angel di Maria

13/101 89. Diego Forlan

14/101 88. Radamel Falcao

15/101 87. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

16/101 86. Robin Van Persie

17/101 85. Carlos Tevez

18/101 84. Gaizka Mendieta

19/101 83. Virgil van Dijk

20/101 82. Hernan Crespo

21/101 81. Rio Ferdinand

22/101 80. Toni Kroos

23/101 79. Juan Roman Riquelme

24/101 78. Thomas Muller

25/101 77. Mohamed Salah

26/101 76. Diego Godin

27/101 75. David Silva

28/101 74. Eden Hazard

29/101 73. Cesc Fabregas

30/101 72. Deco

31/101 71. Lilian Thuram

32/101 70. Nemanja Vidic

33/101 69. Marcelo

34/101 68. Ryan Giggs

35/101 67. Antoine Griezmann

36/101 66. Clarence Seedorf

37/101 65. Wesley Sneijder

38/101 64. Gabriel Batistuta

39/101 63. Fernando Torres

40/101 62. Ruud Van Nistelrooy

41/101 61. Claude Makélélé

42/101 60. Sergio Aguero

43/101 59. Cafu

44/101 58. Miroslav Klose

45/101 57. Kevin de Bruyne

46/101 56. Henrik Larsson

47/101 55. Xabi Alonso

48/101 54. Dennis Bergkamp

49/101 53. Gareth Bale

50/101 52. Gerard Pique

51/101 51. Robert Lewandowski

52/101 50. Javier Zanetti

53/101 49. Didier Drogba

54/101 48. Michael Ballack

55/101 47. Oliver Kahn

56/101 46. Ashley Cole

57/101 45. Pavel Nedved

58/101 44. N’Golo Kante

59/101 43. Kylian Mbappe

60/101 42. Alessandro Del Piero

61/101 41. Alessandro Nesta

62/101 40. Patrick Vieira

63/101 39. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

64/101 38. Roberto Carlos

65/101 37. Rivaldo

66/101 36. Roy Keane

67/101 35. John Terry

68/101 34. Paul Scholes

69/101 33. David Villa

70/101 32. Iker Casillas

71/101 31. Franceso Totti

72/101 30. Arjen Robben

73/101 29. Wayne Rooney

74/101 28. Raul Gonzalez

75/101 27. Manuel Neuer

76/101 26. Paolo Maldini

77/101 25. Dani Alves

78/101 24. Carles Puyol

79/101 23. Frank Lampard

80/101 22. Luka Modric

81/101 21. Samuel Eto’o

82/101 20. Neymar

83/101 19. Andrei Shevchenko

84/101 18. Steven Gerrard

85/101 17. Sergio Busquets

86/101 16. Luis Suarez

87/101 15. Luis Figo

88/101 14. Philipp Lahm

89/101 13. Gianluigi Buffon

90/101 12. Sergio Ramos

91/101 11. Andrea Pirlo

92/101 10. Fabio Cannavaro

93/101 9. Kaka

94/101 8. Zinedine Zidane

95/101 7. Thierry Henry

96/101 6. Ronaldo

97/101 5. Andres Iniesta

98/101 4. Ronaldinho

99/101 3. Xavi Hernandez

100/101 2. Cristiano Ronaldo

101/101 1. Lionel Messi

“It was clear it was not perfectly-tuned with Naby and Ox around because they didn’t play a lot together in this formation, but it is a possible formation for sure.

“Fabi had a lot to do to sort some little gaps which we left open. In that (Genk) game he played as pretty much the only midfielder in some moments.

“The job of the six in modern football is incredibly important and the more offensive the players around you are, the more important it gets.

“But he is not only a gap-closer and a challenger, he is a very good footballer as well.”

Since establishing himself in the side about 12 months ago after a slow start to his debut season, the Brazil international’s importance to the side cannot be under-estimated.

He has started 13 of 15 matches this season – one of the games he missed was the Carabao Cup tie against MK Dons when most of the first team were given the night off – and 40 of the last 48.

Klopp would not admit it publicly but he must be secretly delighted that, despite his impressive performances, Brazil coach Tite chooses not to play him when he calls him up for the international team.

He admits, however, the 26-year-old will have to be rested at some point.

“He only flies in the international breaks, he doesn’t play! That’s pretty much how it is. He is somewhere but not playing,” Klopp said of Fabinho’s international exclusion.

“It’s difficult in my life not to create headlines but I don’t want to create a headline in Brazil. So no comment.

“There will be a moment when we have to think about that, 100 per cent. But we have replacements; Gini (Wijnaldum) can play the position really well and Hendo (Jordan Henderson) played it for a time.”

Fabinho will start at home to Tottenham on Sunday but that game is likely to see the return of Wijnaludm and Henderson, despite Oxlade-Chamberlain’s two-goal performance in midweek.

“No headache, just bigger selection, more players to choose from. If good games from players gave me a headache my life would be really sad,” added Klopp.

“We decided the team for that game because of fresh legs and we will try to find the best line-up for Tottenham as well, and of course the last game is always important information – but not the only one.

“It’s no secret how much I like Ox as person and as a player. At the end it’s about being ready for specific moments.

“He made big steps in the last couple of weeks, but my expectation of Ox is pretty high.

“I’m impressed by the goals but know there is still more to come. He knows that, I know that.”

PA

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