Jordan Henderson underlines the importance of Fabinho's form this season in his programme notes for tonight's clash with Tottenham Hotspur.
Fabinho is set to continue in central defence for the top-of-the-table showdown at Anfield having thrived in the position for much of the campaign as Liverpool suffered a series of injuries in the backline.
The Brazil international’s contributions from midfield while the Reds collected four major trophies during the previous two years mean his excellence comes as no surprise to Henderson.
But the captain still feels it appropriate to highlight the way Fabinho has risen to the challenge of switching roles and forming partnerships with different teammates.
“At the time of writing these notes I don’t know whether Joel Matip will be fit to start the game, but if this season has taught us anything it is that everyone who pulls on a red shirt can play their part,” Henderson states in the programme.
“Whether that has been Caoimhin Kelleher, Neco Williams, Rhys Williams, Nat Phillips, Leighton Clarkson, Billy Koumetio or whoever, all of these boys have made a contribution when called upon – and this is something that the senior pros at the club appreciate massively because we all know it is far from easy to come into an established team as a young player.
“In a different way, similar sentiments apply to Fabinho. It might seem strange that I’m speaking of a Brazilian international in this manner but in its own way, this campaign has presented Fab with a different challenge to the one he has been used to since coming to Liverpool and he has responded to it magnificently.
“It isn’t surprising that he has reacted as positively as he has because Fab is a top-class professional and his skillset lends itself to playing in a number of roles. But his consistency in an unfamiliar role has been incredible and long may that continue.
“Knowing Fab, he will approach tonight’s game with his usual professionalism and determination to excel in whatever role he plays in. The standards he has set for himself and which he reaches on a regular basis have helped us to cope better than many had expected with the injury problems we are having.”
The matchday programme is dedicated to former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier, who sadly passed away aged 73 on Monday.
The Frenchman took charge of more than 300 matches with the club between 1998 and 2004 and delivered six trophies, including the treble of League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup in 2000-01.
A period of applause will be held before kick-off against Spurs at Anfield – and Henderson paid his own tribute to Houllier for the legacy he left on Merseyside.
“The thoughts of myself and all the players here at Liverpool are with the family, friends and former colleagues of Gerard Houllier following the news that he has passed away,” says the No.14.
“Although Gerard was in charge before my time here, he was clearly a manager who brought great success to the club in terms of trophies, but who also took Liverpool into the Champions League and oversaw the redevelopment of Melwood.
“The Champions Wall would have lower numbers upon it without his contribution to LFC and I know all he did for Liverpool will never be forgotten.”