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Liverpool could still have next Fabinho or Andy Robertson as Jürgen Klopp identifies ‘big talent’



Liverpool could yet have the next Fabinho or Andy Robertson as Jurgen Klopp identifies 'great talent'.

Liverpool could yet have the next Fabinho or Andy Robertson as Jurgen Klopp identifies 'great talent'.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been talking for minutes about a struggling player since the Premier League returned after the World Cup. There’s a lot more to come.

Starlet Fábio Carvalho has had a mixed start to life at Liverpool since arriving from Fulham this summer. The youngster, who made intermittent appearances at the start of the season, has found it harder to get playing time since the Premier League resumed after the World Cup.

The Portuguese talent has established himself as one of Europe’s most sought-after young players, having scored ten goals last season as Fulham won the league title and promoted to the Premier League. However, following his move to Merseyside, Carvalho did not have his way and was absent from Liverpool’s last squad to face Everton as he struggles to establish himself under Jürgen Klopp.

With the full-back role diminishing in recent times, the youngster has even had to contend with doubts expressed by pundit Jamie Carragher as to his suitability for a Klopp side. After the defeat to Brentford last month, the Liverpool legend checked in on Carvalho, saying that alongside Harvey Elliott, he didn’t strike him as a typical ‘Jürgen Klopp player’.

Whether Carragher was right in his judgment is itself a debate, but it is worth noting that Carvalho really made an impact during his short spell at Anfield, with his goal-scoring knack being particularly impressive. The youngster has averaged an impressive 0.37 goals from 90 during what has been a largely tumultuous campaign for Liverpool so far, having started a total of eight games. The winger found the net against Manchester City in the League Cup in December in a closely contested encounter in which the Reds were unfortunate to be beaten. Despite this, 2023 has been particularly dry for the former Fulham, who have played just one game since the start of the year and that was in the FA Cup third round replay away to Wolves.

Of course, the characteristics of what constitutes a typical “Jürgen Klopp player” aren’t necessarily set in stone. Still, the youngster’s lack of minutes since the turn of the year likely tells the story of him. In short, Carvalho apparently has yet to convince Klopp that he deserves a point in the squad and as such has only played three minutes in the Premier League since October. It would be premature to suggest that the Portuguese starlet’s career is already at a crossroads, but it is clear that the youngster is struggling to establish himself at Liverpool. That said, given the player’s tender age, Carvalho certainly has time to spare him to become an asset to the Reds.

Responding to questions about Carvalho’s absence from Liverpool’s squad to face Everton earlier this week, manager Klopp admitted he still sees the former Fulham man as a “huge talent” but conceded that “He’s clearly not in a happy place” regarding his reduced time on the pitch.

“Fábio is a very young player, a great talent, absolutely. He has played well for us in some games,” explained Klopp. “Now this is the situation where we have to be in the team and he couldn’t do it for the last one. That’s the way it is, that’s the truth.

“He didn’t play too often because from my point of view we needed different skills when we started or when we changed during games. That’s about it, he didn’t do anything. evil.

“He’s improved a lot, he’s developed a lot, he’s a good guy in the middle of the group, in the middle of the team.”

Klopp added: “So everything is fine, but [he’s] obviously not in a happy place. At the moment you don’t see him on the pitch or when I see him, it’s not very clear, but I can imagine. He is a footballer, he wants to play and he hasn’t played often enough.

“That doesn’t help much, but that’s another thing in a long career that you have to deal with. For me at the moment it seems like he’s sort of taking it as best he can.”

So it seems Klopp continues to see the bigger picture when it comes to Carvalho’s future, with his comments on the youngster’s development in particular implying that patience is needed. In many ways his admission should come as no surprise, given how the German manager nurtured such established names as Fabinho, Andy Robertson and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain during their early days at Liverpool. Those with longer memories will recall that the trio made rare appearances in the early months of their career at Anfield as they adapted to Klopp’s demands. There is no doubt that Carvalho has displayed dazzling quality in his first season in the red shirt, with his goals against Bournemouth, Newcastle and Manchester City being particular highlights.

With obvious tenacity, a knack for entering the opposition’s box late and an undeniable technical ability, many aspects of the former Fulham winger’s game are already impressive. He might not be a ‘typical’ Jurgen Klopp player yet, but in time he could become one.