Micah Richards claims Fabinho’s ‘legs are GONE’ and says the Liverpool midfielder’s loss of form is ‘very strange’ just days after Jamie Carragher called the Brazilian a ‘ghost’ in a shocking home defeat to Leeds
- Richards made the claims after Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Napoli on Tuesday
- Fabinho played the whole game but was criticized for his performance
- Pundit Richards then suggested the 29-year-old’s legs ‘started to go’
- He claimed it is ‘very strange’ how quickly the Brazilian has declined from Liverpool
Micah Richards has suggested Fabinho’s legs have ‘disappeared’ after the Liverpool midfielder’s lethargic performance against Napoli on Tuesday.
The Brazilian played the entire match against their Serie A opponents, as Jürgen Klopp’s side rode to a 2-0 win over Anfield – with their place in the Champions League round of 16 already secured.
But after the game, former Man City defender Richards made suggestions that the 29-year-old can no longer ‘get on the pitch’ as he was before during his Liverpool career.
Micah Richards claimed Fabinho’s legs ‘started to go’ after match against Napoli
The former Man City defender insisted it was ‘very strange’ how quickly Fabinho has fallen
Talk about BBC’s Monday Night ClubRichards said: ‘It’s quite strange, isn’t it, we were talking about Fabinho as the best defensive midfielder in world football about 18 months ago.
“He looks like he can do all the same things except the legs. You know when you’re a midfielder and your legs just start to do it, and you can’t get around the field as much as you’d like, that’s what it seems to be.
“I think sometimes it’s difficult when he’s playing (Fabio) Carvalho and Harvey Elliott, two more attacking (players), when he normally has a Henderson next to him or a Thiago next to him.”
Fabinho has made the highest number of appearances this year – alongside Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah – for Liverpool, having made 19 appearances in all competitions.
Throughout those matches, he has played with several midfield partners, given their growing list of injuries, and has failed to develop any consistency in his play.
Harvey Elliott – who is usually an attacking midfielder or winger – has played a lot with Fabinho
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher also criticized the midfielder’s performance
Richards’ criticism comes shortly after Jamie Carragher claimed the midfielder was a ‘ghost’ against Leeds United. The ex-Liverpool defender also targeted Fabinho last month when he said he was ‘miles off’ in their 3-3 draw with Brighton.
“A big problem is the midfield,” Carragher began. “Teams come to the back four too easily. It’s so open and so disorganized. It should have been 4-0 after 20 minutes [against Brighton].
“The midfield is not in the position where the midfielders should be, teams are four times too early in the back. You expect that late, not early.
“People said the midfield would be a problem for Liverpool. Fabinho was miles off the pace.’
Fabinho was ripped off after his performance in Liverpool’s 2-1 home defeat to Leeds
Although he played the full game – which might suggest his legs are not in fact gone – the statistics suggest Fabinho’s defensive output has slowed down.
According to the Sofascore statistics, Fabinho won just three of his attempted ten ground games in the match and was dispossessed 11 times during the match.
By comparison, 18-year-old Stefan Bajcetic – who came on in the 87th minute – completed two of his three matches and equaled the number of tackles the Brazilian made in the match; two.
Fabinho may be suffering from fatigue – he has played in all their Premier League games this season – and could be rested for their trip to Tottenham on Sunday.
Liverpool youngster Stefan Bajcetic (R) equalized Fabinho’s tackles in his 10-minute cameo