Richards says Fabinho's 'legs have GONE' after Napoli win

Micah Richards claims Fabinho’s ‘legs have GONE’ and says the Liverpool midfielder’s drop in form is ‘quite strange’, just days after Jamie Carragher branded the Brazilian a ‘ghost’ in shock home defeat by Leeds

  • Richards made the claims after Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Napoli on Tuesday 
  • Fabinho played the entire game but came under criticism for his performance 
  • Pundit Richards then suggested the 29-year-old’s legs have ‘started to go’ 
  • He claimed it’s ‘quite strange’ how quickly the Brazilian has declined at Liverpool

Micah Richards has suggested that Fabinho’s legs ‘have gone’ after the Liverpool midfielder’s lethargic performance against Napoli on Tuesday.

The Brazilian played the entire match against their Serie A opponents as Jurgen Klopp’s side cruised to a 2-0 victory at Anfield – with their place in the Champions League round of 16 already secured. 

But after the game, former Man City defender Richards made suggestions that the 29-year-old can no longer ‘get around the pitch’ like he previously has been during his Liverpool career.

Micah Richards claimed that Fabinho’s legs have ‘started to go’ after the game against Napoli

The former Man City defender insisted it was ‘quite strange’ how quickly Fabinho has declined

Speaking on BBC’s Monday Night Club, Richards said: ‘It’s quite strange isn’t it, we were talking about Fabinho about 18 months ago as being the best defensive midfielder in world football.

‘He just looks like he can do all the same things apart from the legs. You know when you’re a midfielder and your legs just start to go, and you can’t get around the pitch as much as you would like, that’s what it seems to be.

‘I think it’s difficult at times when he’s played (Fabio) Carvalho and Harvey Elliott, two more offensive (players), when normally he’s had a Henderson next to him or a Thiago next to him.’

Fabinho has made the joint-highest amount of appearances – level with Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah – for Liverpool this year, having already played 19 matches in all competitions.

Throughout those games he’s played with a variety of different midfield partners, given their growing injury list, and has failed to develop any consistency in his play.

Harvey Elliott – who is usually an attacking midfielder or winger – has played deep with Fabinho

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher also criticised the midfielder’s performances

Richards’ criticisms comes shortly after Jamie Carragher claimed the midfielder was a ‘ghost’ against Leeds United. The ex-Liverpool defender also took aim at Fabinho last month when he said he was ‘miles off it’ in their 3-3 draw with Brighton.

‘A big problem is the midfield’, began Carragher. ‘Teams get to the back four too easily. It’s so open and so unorganised. It should have been 4-0 after 20 minutes [against Brighton].  

‘The midfield is not in the position midfield players should be in, teams get at the back four early. You expect that late, not early. 

‘People said the midfield would be a problem for Liverpool. Fabinho has been miles off the pace.’

Fabinho was ripped into after his performance in Liverpool’s 2-1 home defeat against Leeds

Though he played the full match – perhaps suggesting his legs in-fact have not gone – the stats would suggest Fabinho’s defensive output has slowed up.

According to Sofascore statistics, Fabinho won just three of his attempted 10 ground duels in the match and was dispossessed 11 times during the match.

In comparison, 18-year-old Stefan Bajcetic – who came on in the 87th minute – completed two out of his three duels and matched the number of tackles the Brazilian made in the match; two.

Fabinho may be suffering from fatigue – having played in all of their Premier League games this season – and may be rested for their trip to Tottenham on Sunday. 

Liverpool youngster Stefan Bajcetic (R) levelled Fabinho’s tackles in his 10 minute cameo

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