Fabinho played the final 13 minutes of Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Tottenham on Sunday after being controversially left on the bench from the start.
The Brazilian came on seven minutes after Lucas Moura’s equaliser looked to have earned Tottenham a point, only for Fabinho to play an important role in Liverpool eventually finding a last-minute winner.
Carragher believes the midfielder should start every game “between now and the end of the season”.
“I think Fabinho’s possibly Liverpool’s best player since the turn of the year, and I think he made a big difference when he came on,” he told Sky Sports.
Asked about Fabinho not starting the match, Carragher replied: “It was a big surprise.
“It could be any of three [that he replaced], it’s not a single person you point at.
“It’s just that Liverpool’s starting midfield are very similar players, you know exactly what you’re going to get.
“Since he came on, his passing and how he wins the ball back – he made a difference – so I expect to see him between now and the end of the season.”
But after clashing over the difficulty of Liverpool’s title run-in, Carragher and fellow Sky pundit Neville were at odds again here, with the latter suggesting Tottenham started to dominate when Fabinho was introduced.
“I think when Fabinho came on, individually he did look stronger than obviously Milner and Henderson who had gone off, but actually Tottenham had their best chances and the best play when he did come on,” he told the Gary Neville Podcast.
“For about five minutes or 10 minutes towards the end of the game, some of the little combination play from Tottenham – getting through and cutting through – was fantastic.
“Tottenham looked like the team that were counter-attacking, that actually looked most dangerous. Spurs had chances to win but were denied by Virgil van Dijk in particular.
“Liverpool had some threat from set-pieces and second phases set-pieces but nothing really in open play in that second half that you thought they were going to and get that late winner. It looked like Tottenham were going to.”