London: Brazil midfielder Fabinho has impressed Jurgen Klopp enough in central defence in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Brighton to reassure the Liverpool manager he can be a reliable stop-gap partner for Virgil van Dijk.
Croatian Dejan Lovren added to the problems in Liverpool’s central defence when the World Cup finalist suffered a hamstring injury in the FA Cup defeat by Wolverhampton Wanderers, last Monday.
Joe Gomez is still out with a foot injury although Cameroon international Joel Matip has returned to training after recovering from a broken collarbone.
Klopp, however was happy with Fabinho’s performance even though it came against a weak Brighton side. “He is a brilliant player and I am happy that he can play (against Brighton) – it’s now pretty clear (that he can play in defence),” said Klopp. Even though Brighton did not attack in waves and we had the ball most of the time, so then it makes sense to have a good footballer in that position.
“He did well in these situations (dealing with the high ball) and with (playing) the ball it’s absolutely clear. He has a defending brain and can do it in different positions, it’s good,” added Klopp.
Klopp is also hopeful that his young full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has not damaged his ankle too badly. The 20-year-old England international turned his ankle when warming up.
“Trent on the ground – he’s a hard boy so that’s not a good sign and the doc came, something with the ankle,” said the 51-year-old German. “I don’t know exactly what it was and I hope it will not take long, that he doesn’t feel it (pain) anymore,” Klopp added.