Fabinho has 'defensive brain' – Klopp

By Sports Desk January 12, 2019

Jurgen Klopp believes Fabinho's "defensive brain" allows him to slot into Liverpool's rearguard with no problem.

Injuries have left the Premier League leaders short at the back in recent weeks and Fabinho has been called upon to fill in at the centre of defence.

The Brazilian midfielder lined up alongside Virgil van Dijk as Liverpool claimed a 1-0 win at Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday and put on an assured performance as Klopp's side kept a clean sheet.

And the German says having a player of Fabinho's versatility makes it easier to cope with injury crises.

"Fabinho is a brilliant player," said Klopp. "To have a good footballer in that position when you have the ball is great.

"It was not one attack after another, we had the ball most of the time.

"But Brighton tried to bring the long balls around Glenn Murray, like with Joe Gomez in the home game – but he did well in these situations as well.

"He has a defensive brain and can play in a lot of positions."

Mohamed Salah's penalty sealed the victory, restoring the Reds' seven-point margin at the summit. 

Related items

  • Tim Howard to retire following 2019 MLS season Tim Howard to retire following 2019 MLS season

    Tim Howard's time in MLS is running out, with the former Manchester United and Everton goalkeeper confirming he will retire this year.

    The Colorado Rapids goalkeeper and long-time United States national team star used social media to announce his retirement on Tuesday at the conclusion of the 2019 MLS season.

    "I’m greatly looking forward to kicking off the 2019 MLS season, as it will be my LAST," Howard wrote. "There will be plenty of time for sentiment later.

    "For now, I am going to enjoy every minute. And as I've always done, compete hard and help lead the Rapids with the sole purpose of winning."

  • Koscielny backs Bellerin to return from injury 'stronger than before' Koscielny backs Bellerin to return from injury 'stronger than before'

    Laurent Koscielny says Arsenal team-mate Hector Bellerin should try to "enjoy life" during his injury lay-off and has backed the Spaniard to return "stronger than before".

    Gunners right-back Bellerin has been ruled out for the rest of the 2018-19 season after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee in a Premier League win against Chelsea on Saturday.

    Bellerin was making his first start since recovering from a calf strain sustained in December, but he could now be out of action for as long as nine months.

    Koscielny, though, feels his fellow Arsenal defender can use the opportunity to explore opportunities away from the pitch before making his comeback.

    "Like I said to him yesterday, 'Put football on the side and enjoy a bit of your life with your family and friends'," Koscielny told Sky Sports. "He is starting a new chapter of his career.

    "It will be long but he is a strong boy and I know he has the people around him to help him and be back as soon as possible and stronger than before.

    "He knows all the team are here to help him because we know he will have some difficult moments during his rehab, like Rob [Holding] and Danny [Welbeck], but they know all the team are here and behind them to help them come back with us and help us to have results together."

    Koscielny is no stranger to the treatment room himself, with the 33-year-old having only recently returned to action after rupturing his Achilles.

    "It was very hard during some moments because I missed the World Cup," said the France defender. "But you learn a lot about life, you are more positive about football because you know it's just a small part of your life, and you have some good things off the pitch.

    "I discovered a lot about life so I was surprised about that. I was very focused on my rehab so sometimes you are in a bubble and you can't see people trying to help you to be back as soon as possible.

    "It's important to open your eyes because there are good things. Now I am more positive about my life and career and try to keep the negative things outside of my body.

    "When you are a football player you are focused on football, media, results and you forget a lot of things around you. You can forget family and kids a bit because you are with your team-mates all the time. It's important to open your eyes and enjoy life as well as your football career.

    "I enjoy my career more now than before I was injured because I learned a lot about football and life. I just want to enjoy it."

  • Emiliano Sala: Profile of Cardiff City striker missing after joining from Nantes Emiliano Sala: Profile of Cardiff City striker missing after joining from Nantes

    As Cardiff City and Nantes debated the terms of Emiliano Sala's transfer to the Welsh club last week, nobody could have anticipated the events that would subsequently unfold.

    During negotiations between the two clubs, Nantes had reportedly been keen for Sala to feature one last time against Angers on Sunday, but it was Cardiff who eventually got their way and the Argentine's club-record £18million move was confirmed late on Saturday.

    It was a story typical of the January transfer window – a buying club desperate for mid-season reinforcements but facing stubbornness from a selling club determined not to be left in the lurch by the loss of one of their key players.

    Typical, that is, until a light aircraft transporting Sala to Wales from western France disappeared over the English channel late on Monday.

    Guernsey Police conducted search and rescue operations for the plane throughout Tuesday without success, suspending the search overnight. It will resume at sunrise.

    "We have found no signs of those on board," the police said in a statement. "If they did land on the water, the chances of survival are at this stage, unfortunately, slim."

    There remains hope Sala will be found, but tributes being laid outside Cardiff City Stadium and a gathering of Nantes fans in the French city suggests supporters are fearing the worst.

    Sala's professional breakthrough came during his time playing for Proyecto Crecer in his homeland – a youth academy with links to Ligue 1 side Bordeaux, who spotted his talent and brought him to Europe in 2012.

    Although his time at Bordeaux demanded patience – Sala only made 11 league appearances for the club over three years – loan periods at Orleans, Niort and Caen gave him a platform to demonstrate his abilities.

    Nineteen goals in 37 matches at third-tier Orleans, 18 in 37 league games with Ligue 2 outfit Niort and then five in 13 top-flight appearances with Caen – a period in which he played alongside N'Golo Kante and Thomas Lemar - convinced Nantes to take him to Stade de la Beaujoire on a five-year contract in 2015, paying a reported €1million for his services.

    Sala quickly became a regular starter for Nantes and he racked up 42 league goals in three-and-a-half seasons for the club. This season, only Paris Saint-Germain's star trio of Kylian Mbappe (17), Edinson Cavani (14) and Neymar (13), along with in-demand Lille forward Nicolas Pepe (13), have outscored Sala, who netted 12 from 19 games in Ligue 1.

    It is that kind of form which will have persuaded Cardiff that Sala was the man to fire them away from the relegation zone and to part with a reported £18m. On Tuesday night, however, prayers were being said that Sala would live to start his new chapter with the Premier League club.

    In November last year, Cardiff earned praise for their conduct and compassion when hosting Leicester City in the Foxes' first match since the death of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in a helicopter crash that claimed the lives of five people.

    As football steels itself for the next update in football's latest aviatic incident, it is Cardiff themselves – and Nantes – who need the sport to rally around them.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.