Forget Jadon Sancho, Liverpool need Fabinho back-up

Jadon Sancho’s name was tied to Liverpool on Monday thanks to a well-timed tweet from Jan Aage Fjortoft stating the Reds are favourites to land the winger.

Although Sancho would be a star player for Liverpool and help to the squad as they chase their first league title since 1989-90, the move does not make much sense.

For one, Liverpool’s transfer committee has been focused on young, inexpensive players and the £130 million or more it would take to sign Sancho is excessive.

Moreover, Jurgen Klopp’s team is in need of reinforcement elsewhere on the pitch. Fabinho’s ankle injury will have him out until post-Christmas and looking at Liverpool late in the game against Brighton showed that the Reds could use a defensive midfielder to fill in for the Brazilian more than Sancho.

Jordan Henderson played in the middle of a three-man midfielder with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Georginio Wijnaldum to either side. Klopp attempted to reinforce Liverpool’s midfield in the second half with Adam Lallana, who was a non-factor.

Lallana’s brilliance at Old Trafford allowed the Reds to sneak a 1-1 draw, yet since that late magic, the Englishman has done little to warrant a place in the team.

Prior to Fabinho’s arrival, Henderson was tasked with playing as Liverpool’s defensive midfielder. It was a role the Englishman was okay at playing, but it wasn’t his best position.

Henderson is at his best playing alongside a defensive midfielder, pushing forward and being more attack-minded than defensive.

It is a role that harkens back to the dynamic combination Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano once had at Anfield.

Fabinho is expected to be out until January but that doesn’t mean he will be back for the first part of the month. Fabinho could have a setback in his rehabilitation.

A move for a defensive midfielder would give Liverpool further steel in a team that is flush with midfielders but lacking individuals that can protect the back four.

Defensive midfielders could be available in January including Tottenham’s Eric Dier whose contract expires in 2021. Dier is on the outs at Tottenham having played just five games this season and is set to leave Spurs in January.

Fabinho’s presence in midfield will be sorely missed during Liverpool’s run of matches this month. The Reds will face off in a big game against Leicester City on Boxing Day but will contest a Merseyside Derby and huge Champions League matchday 6 against Red Bull Salzburg first.

Sancho could be Anfield bound in 2020, but with the possible transfer fee and the fact that Liverpool weren’t willing to spend willy nilly last summer, it doesn’t feel like the winger will be arriving when the window opens next month.