Georginio Wijnaldum says it looks like Fabinho has been playing at centre-back for his ‘whole life’ as the Liverpool midfielder filled in impressively for the injured Virgil van Dijk in Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Ajax on Wednesday night.
Reds talisman Van Dijk is set to miss the majority of the season with a serious knee ligament injury suffered in last weekend’s 2-2 draw in the Merseyside derby.
Fabinho produced a solid performance in Liverpool’s backline alongside Joe Gomez as they edged past Ajax in their opening Champions League group game.
It isn’t an unfamiliar role for the 26-year-old, who most recently played at centre-half during Jurgen Klopp’s side’s 2-0 win over Chelsea in the Premier League last month – and his team-mate Wijnaldum believes the midfielder is a natural in the position.
‘Fabinho does great as a centre-back,’ Wijnaldum said after the match in Amsterdam.
‘I think in the games that he’s played there we didn’t concede any goals. And also, the way that he’s playing… it’s like he’s been playing there his whole life.
‘It’s great to have a player who can play in different positions. He does it well in all of the games he plays [at centre-back], so it’s a good thing for the team.’
‘Of course I’m not Virgil, but I’ll do my best,’ he told Viasport.
‘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.’