The arrival of Fabinho from Monaco earlier in the summer had fans and pundits wondering what the future held for Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson given the captain spent last season learning to play the six and that’s Fabinho’s best role.
According to manager Jürgen Klopp, that isn’t something he’s worried about, as he believes both players have the quality and flexibility to take on different roles and that by the end of a busy season both will have gotten plenty of minutes.
“He can still play as the eight or we could play some games with a double six, Fabinho could play the eight or whatever, that’s all possible,” Klopp told The Echo when asked about Henderson’s role in the squad heading into the 2018-19 season.
It’s not just Henderson and Fabinho in the six where the manager has the kind of quality options perhaps no Liverpool manager has had previously. Whether it’s sixes or players like Daniel Sturridge or Xherdan Shaqiri, though, Klopp’s not worried.
”If things were fixed with just one line up and all the others were only needed when the rest are ill that would be the wrong way and we’d have no chance,” he noted. “It’s so important you are prepared for the times in the season when it is really intensive.
“If someone wants to see it in a difficult way—maybe August and September before the Champions League starts, before the League Cup starts—one or two players might think they don’t play enough, but after that we will need them all constantly.”
Rest, rotation, form, and fit for the opponent. At the start it’s certainly true a first eleven might seem to form leaving some big names on the outside looking in, but come December and January and on into the end of the season, those players will be needed.
“If you have played 40 games at the end of this season that would be brilliant, not 50,” Klopp added. “Most of the boys probably played around 50 games last season.”