The Brazil international was man of the match in the 1-0 success over Ajax in their Champions League opener in Amsterdam.
Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum thinks Fabinho‘s performance as a makeshift centre-back is a sign they can handle without Virgil Van Dijk
The Brazil international was man of the match in the 1-0 success over Ajax in their Champions League opener in Amsterdam, only their 3rd tidy sheet in their last 14 matches.
In the last 4 matches the holding midfielder has dropped into main defence and Liverpool have yet to yield against the likes of Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski and Chelsea’s Timo Werner
Manager Jurgen Klopp will hope Joel Matip has recuperated from a small problem to be fit to face Sheffield United on Saturday night however Fabinho’s screen recommends he will be a more- than-adequate fall-back option
“Fabinho is a great centre-back. The games he has played there, you can see he is comfortable in that position and he has done well each time,” stated Wijnaldum.
“We haven’t conceded any goals when he has played at centre-back, so that’s a good sign. It is great he can play in different positions and he is doing a good thing for the team.”
Van Dijk, set for numerous months out with a knee ligament injury which needs surgical treatment, sent out a good luck message to the team ahead of the match however his Holland team- mate confesses there is not excessive football chat in between the set now.
The centre-back will have enjoyed the game however he has not posted anything on social media about the performance and Wijnaldum stated it was more essential for his buddy to focus on his recovery.
“Virgil sent a message, he wished us good luck in the group chat on WhatsApp,” added the Dutchman.
Good early morning, Reds pic.twitter.com/KQbYWyTiWm
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 22, 2020
” For me I do not think it is the correct time to speak to Virgil about football, since football at this time is trivial.
” I think for him and for me when we speak together, the most essential thing is his rehabilitation and those things.
” So when I talk to him it is more about Virgil Van Dijk, more about life than about football.
“It might change in a few months because then he will be much further into his rehab, but it is not the right time to speak about football with Virgil because at this moment it is not a good time for him and not the time to remind him of these things.”
Hard match tonight. We needed to battle for it, however a win on the roadway is a great way to start the group phase #AJALIV #UCL pic.twitter.com/tNbA7j45zf
— Gini Wijnaldum (@GWijnaldum) October 21, 2020
Liverpool’s success was a self-confidence booster as they had actually lost 8 of their previous 14 away games in Europe.
It was, in fact, the first time they had won their opening away Champions League match since beating Marseille in 2008, having actually lost away at Napoli in the last 2 seasons and drawn against Spartak Moscow in Russia prior to that.
“It was good, we showed we are ready for the games. We had some problems but we controlled most of the game against a strong side,” stated Wijnaldum.
“They are a good team so to start the Champions League campaign with a win is good – we lost against Napoli last season so it is better than that.”