Rio Ferdinand and Michael Owen reveal why they ‘love’ Liverpool midfielder Fabinho

Rio Ferdinand and Michael Owen have paid tribute to Liverpool star Fabinho (Picture: Getty)

Rio Ferdinand and Michael Owen have revealed what they ‘love’ about Liverpool midfielder Fabinho.

Fabinho endured an underwhelming first season at Anfield following a £39million move from Monaco in 2018 but has since established himself as a key member of Jurgen Klopp’s squad.

The Brazilian is enjoying a superb campaign, helping the Reds move eight points clear at the top of the Premier League, but came off injured just 19 minutes into Liverpool’s Champions League tie with Napoli on Wednesday night.

Speaking ahead of the Anfield clash, both Ferdinand and Owen heaped praise on Fabinho and revealed what they ‘love’ about the midfielder.

Manchester United legend Ferdinand told BT Sport: ‘He [Fabinho] has been their best player this season. He struggled in his first season but he’s adapted perfectly now.

‘What I love about him… people go on about the tackles, but the way he reads the game and his awareness on the pitch is an art in itself and he does it as good as anyone at the moment.

‘For a centre-half, he’s a dream. He locks down a part of the pitch. To be successful you need to do the ugly stuff.

‘You need players like that, you can’t just have pretty players like Salah, Mane and Firmino. Fabinho is the guy who gives Liverpool the platform.’

Former Liverpool and England striker Owen added: ‘He’s got a presence, hasn’t he? There’s some great central midfielders like Makelele and Kante who have been small.

‘But if I was a manager I would love a presence in there like Fabinho. He’s got a great shape to play in that position.

‘If you’re a big presence like Fabinho, Vieira or Petit… they’re just so big you can’t find any gaps in the midfield.

‘If you’ve got a big frame and a huge presence in there it helps so much I think.’

Anfield hero Jamie Carragher also paid tribute to the Brazilian ahead of the Napoli fixture, telling Viasport: ‘In Fabinho, Liverpool have maybe the best player in Europe in that position.

‘He’s that good. We’ve had Mascherano, Hamann and Alonso in that position, but I think Fabinho is the best. Liverpool have got someone really special.

‘It’s not that unusual for players under Jurgen Klopp to take time to fit in. But now he’s one of the players you don’t rotate, alongside Alisson, Van Dijk, Salah and Mane.’

MORE: Carragher makes Liverpool transfer prediction and tells Klopp who to sign in January


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