Having finally made his mark in the first team in recent weeks, summer signing Fabinho suffered a bit of a setback against Arsenal on Saturday.
The Brazilian produced a below par performance in the 1-1 draw with the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium, as he struggled to get to grips with the pace of the game.
The 25-year-old, who is on a reported £100,000-per-week at Anfield [Source: Spotrac], failed to stem the Arsenal tide in the second half and frequently gave the ball away with loose touches.
Fabinho’s struggles underlined the importance of Reds captain Jordan Henderson. The England international isn’t always the most appreciated player on Merseyside, but it was clear that his presence was missed against Unai Emery’s side.
Unfortunately for Jurgen Klopp it appears that the former Sunderland man still has some work to do before he returns to the first team picture.
The Daily Star reported on Monday that the 28-year-old is still out with a hamstring problem and will miss Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Red Star Belgrade.
After Fabinho’s performance there will be many Reds supporters who are desperate for Henderson to return. The holding midfield role is a tough one to master, and Henderson has never received enough credit for his work in that area of the pitch.
He is a terrific passer of the ball but the industrious side of his game can go under appreciated. Seeing how Fabinho struggled against the Gunners, it’s clear that Henderson is a master of the defensive aspect of the holding midfield position.
Klopp always defers to his captain in big games, and after the Arsenal match it doesn’t appear as if that will be changing once the skipper returns to full fitness.
It was only one bad game from Fabinho, but perhaps his struggles were the wake up call some fans needed in order to appreciate the understated brilliance of Henderson.