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Klopp vows to find solution to Liverpool's 'massive' Fabinho problem

10:52 AM EST 11/29/19
fabinho - cropped
The Brazil international is likely to be out until 2020 with an ankle injury, but his manager at Anfield has faith in his remaining midfielders

Jurgen Klopp admits it is a "massive" blow to lose Fabinho until 2020 but insists Liverpool will find a way to cope without the midfielder.

The Reds confirmed on Friday that Fabinho suffered ankle ligament damage in the 1-1 Champions League draw with Napoli at Anfield and is unlikely to play again before the turn of the year.

The Brazil international is set to miss Premier League games against Brighton and Hove Albion, Everton, Bournemouth, Watford, Leicester City and Wolves, as well as the final Champions League group game away to RB Leipzig, the Carabao Cup clash with Aston Villa and the Club World Cup.

Klopp accepts there is no ready-made replacement for a player of Fabinho's qualities, but the Liverpool manager has no doubts about the suitability of Jordan Henderson or Georginio Wijnaldum playing in the role.

"Oh yes. It's bad news. Nothing good to say about that," he told reporters when asked about the injury. "How long it will take [to recover], we're not sure 100 per cent but it looks pretty sure he will not be involved in the Christmas fixtures.

"We have solutions for the position. We can replace him. We've played good without him, but now it's important to get him doing the right things and get him back as soon as possible. Until then, we have to find solutions. We're not the only team with injured players. It's what we have to deal with now and we will.

"We watched the Napoli game from last year and Hendo played the position, Gini played the position already, Adam Lallana played the position, we can change system… Losing a player of the quality of Fabinho is massive, really bad, but we are not the only team in the Premier League with injuries.

"You want to push that moment as far as possible towards the end of the year because with two weeks out, you miss six games. But that's not the case, we can't change it and we have to find a solution. Will it be exactly like Fabinho? Of course not, because nobody is like the other one, but it will be a good one. We have to play football and win football games again.

"It's not that nobody is as good as him. It's different quality. Gini came on in that position and was brilliant. We just have to make it work. Fab couldn't have played all the games from now until March. It's not cool, but we're in contact with him. We think a lot about it – not in the case of 'oh my God, how can we deal with it?' – just in the case of 'let's do the right thing for Fab, let's do the right thing for the team'."

A strength of Liverpool's this season has been the number of goalscorers they have had across the team in the Premier League, with 13 outfield players having scored at least once in their opening 13 league games.

Klopp, though, is not concerned about who is on the scoresheet provided they can keep up their form against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

"It's not too long ago we spoke about how we rely so much on our front three. I couldn't care less who scores - I'm really happy when the ball is in the net," he said.

"Of course, it's good, but I still think we could have scored more goals, to be honest. It makes us a bit more unpredictable but it's nothing I really think about.

"What I think about at the moment is we play Brighton, with a very, very exciting development. Graham [Potter] is doing a really good job. That's our issue, not who scores. After that game, pretty much everybody has this kind of three games a week coming up now. Brighton had a full week to prepare, they are innovative and think a lot about football and they will come here to try to get the points. We have to be ready three days after a very intense game against Napoli."

As the fixture list piles up, Klopp confirmed he plans to speak with Mohamed Salah, with Egypt's Under-23 coach claiming to be keen to take the forward to the Olympics next year.

"I'm not prepared for that answer yet to be honest," Klopp said. "Too many things happened since I first heard about it. When I leave the press conference, the first thing I do is ask Mo. Maybe next press conference we can speak about it."