By Kevin Phillips

25th Oct, 2020 | 11:42am

Exclusive: Phillips names the surprise Liverpool player who really stood out last night

Kevin Phillips has heaped praise on Fabinho after the Liverpool midfielder again impressed at centre-half in the absence of Virgil van Dijk.

The former Sunderland and Aston Villa striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, hailed the “fantastic” 27-year-old and compared him to Manchester City star Fernandinho for surprisingly delivering out of position.

Jurgen Klopp has selected Fabinho, primarily a defensive midfielder, to fill in at centre-half in the absence of the injured Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip for this week’s fixtures against Ajax and Sheffield United.

The Brazilian has excelled in the heart of the defence alongside Joe Gomez, playing an integral role in the Reds keeping a clean sheet away to Ajax on Wednesday.

Speaking after the 2-1 win over Sheffield United last night, Phillips believes Fabinho will get better and better as he becomes more accustomed to the position.

“It is a bit like Fernandinho at Manchester City,” he told Football Insider.

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“Jurgen Klopp would never even consider putting someone Fabinho in there unless he was confident that he could do the job.

“Whether Fabinho wants to play there week in, week out is a different matter but he has been fantastic. He has looked very comfortable sat in there but at times his midfield head has got the best of him.

“He steps into areas where he shouldn’t have because he naturally gets attracted to the ball. His positioning will improve the more he plays there. He will get better and better.” 

In other Liverpool news, Alex McLeish wowed by 23-year-old who can save Klopp millions.