Liverpool have suffered a “major blow” in losing Fabinho to injury so soon after finding themselves without Virgil van Dijk, Micah Richards has told the Daily Mail.
The Brazilian ace was forced from the field during the first half of the Reds’ Champions League win over Midtjylland, and will miss this weekend’s Premier League meeting with West Ham.
While a report in The Times had claimed that Fabinho’s hamstring problem is not as bad as first feared, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said he’s likely to be out for longer than just this weekend.
With Van Dijk also on the sidelines having had to undergo surgery on an ACL injury, the Reds are now left with just one fit senior centre-back – Joe Gomez – in their entire squad.
“It is never good seeing a player pull up with an injury, particularly one with a big influence. So having lost Virgil van Dijk, it was a major blow for Liverpool to lose Fabinho on Tuesday,” Richards wrote in the Daily Mail.
“He’s going to miss a chunk of games with his hamstring issue and while it is not extremely serious, he will be absent for next Sunday’s clash with Manchester City. When the big games come around, you want to see all the big, important players playing.
“If everyone is involved, there can never be excuses from the losing team such “oh, we didn’t have him!” I’m not saying Liverpool are a team that makes excuses, far from it, but there is no doubt they are going to feel Fabinho’s absence.
“It’s going to be really interesting to see how Liverpool get through this period. I’m sure there will be a reaction to the challenge facing Jurgen Klopp’s side and I’m looking forward to see how they cope against West Ham.”
With Van Dijk being ruled out long-term, Fabinho looked like a great replacement for the Dutchman at centre-back, but things just don’t seem to be going the Reds’ way this season and he too is now on the sidelines.
It remains to be seen what Klopp has in mind in defence over the coming weeks – potentially more game time for impressive youngster Rhys Williams alongside promotions for the likes of Nathaniel Phillips, Sepp van den Berg and Billy Koumetio?