‘Top operator’: Rio Ferdinand raves about Liverpool FC star

Rio Ferdinand was impressed with Fabinho's performance in Liverpool FC's 1-0 win against Ajax in the Champions League

Rio Ferdinand
Ex-Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand (Photo: BT Sport)

Rio Ferdinand hailed Fabinho as a “top operator” after the versatile Liverpool FC star excelled in a 1-0 victory over Ajax in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

Liverpool FC manager Jurgen Klopp opted to use Fabinho in a makeshift centre-half role for the clash against the Eredivisie outfit in the absence of Virgil van Dijk.

The Netherlands international is set to be sidelined for seven or eight months, which means Fabinho could be asked to play in a centre-half role for much of the campaign.

Klopp has Joel Matip and Joe Gomez as his only recognised senior centre-halves after the Reds decided to sell Serbia international Dejan Lovren to Zenit St Petersburg in the summer.

Fabinho ended the Champions League clash with 85 per cent pass completion, finished with four successful tackles and won three aerial duels in a commanding display.

Former Manchester United defender Ferdinand was impressed with Fabinho’s display at the heart of the Liverpool FC defence.

“This guy is a top operator,” Ferdinand told BT Sport. “He played at right-back when he was at Monaco. He knows how to defend.

“But he will be judged over the course of the season, not a couple of sporadic performances at centre-back.

“And now he’s got the opportunity to play there for a sustained amount of time and he’s going to have to show it on a consistent basis.

“First half he made one or two of those types of challenges on the edge of the box to quash attacks and he had read the game really well today.

“It’s about him and Gomez getting a partnership.”

Liverpool FC made a winning start to their Champions League group-stage campaign thanks to Nicolas Tagliafico’s first-half own goal at the Amsterdam Arena.

Diogo Jota and Takumi Minamino came close to extending Liverpool FC’s lead in the second half.

The Reds finished with just their third clean sheet of the 2020-21 campaign to build morale ahead of their clash against Sheffield United in their next Premier League game at Anfield on Wednesday night.

Liverpool FC will host Danish side FC Midtjylland in their next Champions League game at Anfield on Tuesday night.

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