Liverpool “might be looking at bringing in a centre-back” during the summer transfer window, according to former Reds star John Aldridge.
Jurgen Klopp has seen his defensive options decimated by injury this season, with squad depth at Anfield being tested to the full.
Promising academy graduates have been given senior bows of late, while the versatile Fabinho has been asked to drop back from a midfield berth to provide cover at centre-half.
The Brazilian is accustomed to filling such a role and has not looked out of place, but Aldridge still believes that a more suitable option will be sought at some stage to offer assistance to Virgil van Dijk and Co.
“Hopefully he won't have to for much longer with the return of Joel Matip.
“He is likely to make his comeback at the weekend against Crystal Palace and Joe Gomez is on the mend, so I think Liverpool are over that defensive crisis they had, but Fabinho has helped out massively.
“This summer though, Klopp might be looking at bringing in a centre-back. Matip and Dejan Lovren pick up plenty of niggly knocks and and injuries, but Gomez is the one who has been extremely unlucky.
“I expect Matip to return to the defence at the weekend, but Fabinho deserves to keep his place somewhere in this team.”
Klopp has been talking up the qualities of a man acquired from Monaco last summer, with Liverpool benefitting from having acquired a player capable of filling various different positions.
The German tactician has said of Fabinho: "He is a brilliant player and I am happy that he can play [defence] - it's now pretty clear [that he can play in defence].
"It's not like it came one attack after the other from Brighton. We had the ball most of the time, so then it makes sense to have a good footballer in that position.
"I think Brighton tried a little bit to bring the long balls and [Glenn] Murray around him. That's what they did, by the way, against Joe Gomez in the home game as well.
"He did well in these situations and with the ball it's absolutely clear. He has a defending brain and can do it in different positions, it's good."