Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has described Fabinho as a brilliant player after the Brazilian impressed in a makeshift centre-half role against Brighton on Saturday.

The Reds emerged arrow 1-0 winners against the Seagulls, but had to play Fabinho alongside Virgil van Dijk as Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren were unavailable, while Joel Matip was only fit enough to make the bench.

Liverpool’s resources at the back have been stretched and that saw 16-year old Ki-Jana Hoever make his Reds debut against Wolves in the FA Cup last Monday.

Fabinho has mostly been deployed as a defensive midfielder by Klopp, but the German has revealed that the player has a defending brain, and did well against the Brighton attack.

“He’s a brilliant player and I was happy he could play”, Klopp was quoted as saying by Liverpool’s official website.

“It’s not that Brighton had one attack after the other – we had the ball most of the time so it makes sense to have a good footballer in that position.

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“Brighton tried a little bit to bring the long balls to [Glenn] Murray and around him, which they did, by the way, against Joe Gomez in the home game as well.

“But he did well in these situations and with the ball.

"He has a defending brain and can do that in different positions. It’s good.”

The Reds extended their lead at the top of the table to seven points with the win, as Manchester City do not play until Monday.

Matip is close to starting a game for Liverpool and the Reds will hope he is back in time to get a few minutes against Crystal Palace next Saturday.