Fabinho has been impressing as cover for Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool, but the versatile Brazilian says he can “be better” as a centre-half and will look to take his game to even greater heights.
Jurgen Klopp saw an unfortunate run of injuries triggered during their derby with Merseyside neighbours Everton on October 17.
Dutch defender Van Dijk suffered knee ligament damage in that contest following a reckless challenge from Toffees goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. He has since been joined on the treatment table by Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, with Liverpool short on options and experience at the heart of their back four.
Fabinho has suffered a knock of his own, keeping him out for four games, but the 27-year-old has been a go-to selection for Klopp when available.
It is not the first time that the South American has been asked to step out of his favoured holding midfield role in his career, but he believes he can offer more to the cause.
Fabinho has told Liverpool’s official website:
“In my first season, I’d already played as a centre-half and last season, I don’t remember exactly when, but I played some games there, too.
“The manager had prepared me to play in this position, so it was not a surprise when I had to play there because of the injuries and I am happy because it’s worked out good so far.
“The manager has tried to help with small things, positional things or sometimes when to play a long ball or step forward with it. Things like this – the small details – so I can get better. He doesn’t talk too much about it, he has just tried to give me the confidence to play the position.
“I always say the communication is very important with my partners when playing there – the other centre-back, the full-backs and the midfielders. The boys have helped me a lot and now I am used to playing in this position, so I have more confidence to play there. I just want to help the team to play good football and be as good as possible.
“As I said, I know in this position I have to be more communicative with all the players because I can see almost everything on the pitch. I try to help my partners in their positions when they have to close the left or right sides.
“It’s more about the communication, but I don’t know if I have really had to change a lot in terms of how I am on the pitch. It’s more about leadership and communication.”