Liverpool star Fabinho has revealed that Jurgen Klopp has asked him to be more vocal in the defence after the injury to Virgil van Dijk.
Van Dijk is set to undergo surgery and will likely miss the remainder of the campaign after suffering a knee injury during Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Everton in the Merseyside derby.
Fabinho replaced the Dutchman on Wednesday as he played alongside Joe Gomez in the club’s defence against Ajax.
The Brazilian star was impressive against Ajax as a Nicolas Tagliafico own goal sealed a 1-0 win for Liverpool in their Champions League group-stage opener.
Speaking after the victory, Fabinho revealed that Klopp wants him to be the organiser in Liverpool’s back line while Van Dijk remain sidelined.
‘Personally, when I knew Virgil was out for a long time it was a little bit of a shock because I think he’s the best defender in the world,’ Fabinho told Viasport.
‘Most of all, he’s a leader of the team, in the dressing room he always keeps the good mood, the good atmosphere, and of course we miss this. ‘But we have to keep going, we have to try to do the best and win the games for him as well.
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‘We have Thiago, Alisson, Joel [Matip], some players injured right now, they try to recover as quickly as possible and we have to try to win every game.’
Asked how his role in the team will change if he becomes a regular player at centre-back, Fabinho replied: ‘Tactically, I have to be always ready for the long balls, try to organise the team.
‘It’s not easy but I have to do what Virgil always does and talk to the team, try to be a leader. Of course I’m not Virgil, but I’ll do my best. ‘It was very important for me and the team to keep a clean sheet today for the confidence of the team.
‘Of course, I try to do my best, the manager said to me I have to talk more to the team to try to organise the team. ‘Sometimes it’s little details like second balls, being ready, pressing well. I try to be in this role as well.’