Rant of the day: A midfield pairing to dominate for the present and the future

“Gabriel Jesus has beaten Dejan Lovren to the ball and is clean through on goal, this could give Manchester City all three points against Liverpool.

“The Brazilian only has to beat Loris Karius, he lines up the shot and…….

“It’s a thundering tackle from Fabinho who dispossess the Brazilian and launches the ball up midfield straight to Naby Keita.

“The pair combines brilliantly and now it is Keita who is through on goal and………

“He smashes it in! Liverpool lead 1-0! Just a few seconds remain and Liverpool surely have the three points and have beaten Pep Guardiola’s men again!”

That could be the reality at Anfield next season, thanks to a couple of amazing pieces of business we have done.

Jurgen Klopp and FSG should be applauded for bringing in Naby Keita after a lot of negotiations with RB Leipzig but the Fabinho deal came out of the blue.

The pair seems ideal for us in the heart of the midfield and we could actually dominate the opposition in the midfield next season.

Keita is the box-to-box man while Fabinho can cover our defenders and spread the ball around from the heart of the midfield.

While we haven’t seen them together yet, Klopp certainly knows what he is doing at the club.

A pair that oozes quality and dominance

There are a few players that seem to be built to play for Jurgen Klopp. Roberto Firmino has turned out to be the ideal striker for us, not only because he scores goals but he runs, creates chances and always chases the opposition defenders.

Roberto Firmino

Life is hell for a defender when Firmino and Sadio Mane are on song.

The same goes for Keita, who seems to be the niggling kind of midfielder in the heart of midfield, who makes life difficult for any midfielder that keeps the ball for too long.

Think of Keita as the kind of player that can get under the skin of the opposition due to his tenacity and the 22-year-old also has the ability to run upfield, link up with our midfield and bang in a few goals too.

Fabinho, for his part, is the guy who keeps things calm at the back, something that we have lacked for a number of years, or ever since Lucas Leiva picked up that horrible ligament injury that more or less cut down his time at Anfield.


We don’t always play with a tough tackling defensive midfielder under Klopp and this is where Fabinho would be a little different as he can shift the ball upfield for us to attack the opposition.

He isn’t a typical Brazilian; someone who has a lot of skills, flicks and tricks – oh no, he tackles, wins the ball, breaks up the play and sets us for a counter-attack, something that we seem to be pretty good at under Klopp.

Fabinho was also a right-back during his initial years as a professional footballer, so that would come to his help too should he ever decide to maraud into the opposition penalty box.

I find it difficult to recall when we had such a strong midfield, even without considering the third peg in the midfield – Jordan Henderson or Georginio Wijnaldum.

Even if we don’t bring Hendo or Wijnaldum into the discussion, this could be a midfield pairing like we had under Rafa Benitez but with a twist.

Our best midfield pairing in recent years was Javier Mascherano and Xabi Alonso. One would break up the play and the other would set up the attack.

We now have someone who can break up the play and set us off, while we have another player who can run with the ball, battle past the opposition and even score.

Yes, yes, the third person in the Alonso-Masch relationship was Steven Gerrard but we will never be able to get another Stevie G in the team, he was that rare and that bloody good.

What we have now is an exciting base that can dominate the opposition for the next five years at the least. A couple of players that have lungs of steel and who can run, cover, tackle and become a tag-team in the midfield.

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Liverpool don’t win games in the midfield under Klopp but that will change in the coming season.