Liverpool’s Fabinho’s injury woes underscore the strength of Jurgen Klopp’s squad

Jurgen Klopp has provided an injury update on Fabinho as Liverpool prepare to secure the FA Cup with a win over Chelsea as part of their unprecedented quadruple hopes

Fabinho scored in Liverpool's second-leg win at Villarreal and could be fit in time to feature in the Champions League final
Fabinho scored in Liverpool’s second-leg win at Villarreal and could be fit in time to feature in the Champions League final

It wasn’t long ago that the injury of one of Liverpool’s most important men would have been seen as a devastating blow.

The injuries to Virgil Van Dijk and Thiago Alcantara in last season’s lively Merseyside derby at Goodison Park preceded an unusual slump that cost the Reds a shot at the title. For several seasons, any time on the touchline for either Sadio Mane or Mo Salah was viewed as likely fatal to a Premier League title win.

The immediate impact of Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota changed that narrative in attack, with a string of injuries for Roberto Firmino failing to put a damper on Liverpool this season. Less talked about, however, is that that depth now encompasses Klopp’s entire starting XI.

That collective strength was brought to the surface when the German provided an injury update on Fabinho ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea. The Brazil international limped away during the midweek win at Aston Villa and subsequent scans have confirmed a thigh strain which is likely to rule the 28-year-old out for the remainder of the national calendar.

Klopp hinted that there is a ‘good chance’ Fabinho will recover in time for the Champions League final against Real Madrid on May 28. However, the 54-year-old stressed his confidence in his side’s ability to cope with the midfielder’s absence.

Klopp told reporters: “We have to because we can handle it. Having it or not having it is a difference, but it’s all right. These are normal things that happen.

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Jurgen Klopp has provided an injury update on Livepool midfielder Fabinho


action pics via Reuters)

“It’s never in a position where you have 12 options, it’s always in a position where you (don’t) have. We have a couple of players. Hendo came and played incredible (at Villa), he has in this one Season great games played number six so that’s not a problem.”

This is perhaps the first season under Klopp where an injury to a key player at a crucial point in the season hasn’t caused fans to panic. Fabinho has embraced the role of midfield anchor since signing from Monaco in 2018.

But while Klopp jokes he doesn’t have “12 options” at the position, the former Borussia Dortmund boss has more than enough on his hands to adapt. Jordan Henderson is the logical solution to the number six riddle, and alongside him there are many ways to fill in the gap.

Naby Keita and Thiago are the pair most likely to be brought up but Klopp could always opt for Curtis Jones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or James Milner’s experience. There are enough quality reserves, and this also applies to the entire course.

Ibrahima Konate is yet to experience defeat in a Liverpool shirt and has been swapped regularly with Joel Matip. England international Joe Gomez has become a marginal figure while Kostas Tsimikas has proved a more than capable understudy to Andy Robertson.

Liverpool once had a starting XI to rival Manchester City while there were no alternatives on the bench. But if their relentless pursuit of the quadruple hasn’t already proved it, the way the Reds are able to adjust to the absence of a key player like Fabinho at Wembley suggests the Premier League’s top heavyweight are now on par fights

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