Liverpool could use Fabinho as a temporary replacement for Virgil van Dijk. The Netherlands international could miss the rest of the season through injury after being forced out of their 2-2 draw with Everton on Sunday. It represents a hammer blow for Jurgen Klopp, who may now have to tinker as a result.
Liverpool drew 2-2 with Everton on Saturday.
They took the lead twice through Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah but were pegged back through goals from Michael Keane and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
The biggest talking point after the match was Van Dijk’s injury, however.
The Netherlands international was forced out of the game after being clattered into by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who avoided any disciplinary action.
Liverpool are waiting to find out the full extent of the 29-year-old’s injury but they’re fearful he could be ruled out for the rest of the campaign.
That leaves the Reds short at the back.
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But one option to replace the inspiration Dutchman could be Fabinho, despite the Brazil international being a midfielder by trade.
The Samba star was deployed at centre-back for the 2-0 win over Chelsea in September and impressed, keeping the likes of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz at bay.
And Van Dijk has already given him his seal of approval.
Speaking after the match against Chelsea, the Netherlands international said: “Outstanding.
“I just told him as well I think he was Man of the Match. To keep out a striker like [Timo] Werner and don’t let him score, overall he was outstanding.
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“Everyone knows how good he is but it shows also that we need everyone. We are a bit unlucky with the injuries now but we’ll need everyone back because it’s such a long season.”
Fabinho previously stepped in for Van Dijk during their Champions League draw with Bayern Munich last February.
And he could now get a chance to show his credentials at the back.
Meanwhile, former Liverpool star Peter Crouch has opened up on Van Dijk’s injury, saying: “We have only seen five Premier League games so far but it is not overstating things to say this could have an influence on the title race, given how big Van Dijk is for Liverpool.
“With goalkeeper Alisson also out, the timing could not be worse.
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“I like Joel Matip and Joe Gomez, they are both very good centre halves. But they both look like they have an occasional mistake in them and that is not something you ever feel about Van Dijk, who is commanding.
“He’s got to be worth a minimum of 10 points each season to Liverpool.
“Listen, I tipped Liverpool for the title and I wouldn’t desert them now. I still fancy them to retain the trophy, but without Van Dijk, the gap to their pursuers is likely to be much narrower.
“Look at the impact injuries to Aymeric Laporte and Kevin De Bruyne have had on Manchester City in recent seasons; take Harry Kane out of Tottenham’s team and see what happens to them.
“Van Dijk keeps Liverpool moving smoothly along and this is a major test for Jurgen Klopp’s squad.”
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