Ian Doyle has said that Fabio Carvalho’s short-term future at Liverpool could depend on how he fares during pre-season.
The 20-year-old came to Anfield from Fulham last summer but, after a bright start, has found game-time very hard to come by, starting only one match this side of Christmas (Transfermarkt).
The journalist was responding to a variety of queries in a Q&A for the Liverpool Echo on Thursday, with one reader asking what ‘the future holds’ for the youngster on Merseyside.
Doyle replied: “Carvalho has barely played and has perhaps been a victim of Liverpool not doing so well this season. If results had been better, I’d have expected him to play more.
“I don’t think there’s any appetite to sell him, but a loan move next season isn’t out of the question. It will depend on how he does during pre-season.”
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Things were initially looking very positive for Carvalho at Liverpool following a memorable week last August in which he scored in successive top-flight games against Bournemouth and Newcastle, the latter a 98th-minute winner at Anfield.
However, he’s barely had a look-in since the World Cup break, starting only two games in that time (both in domestic cups) and being given a paltry eight minutes of action in the Premier League (Transfermarkt).
At 20, time is still very much on his side to make a lasting impression for the Reds, although he’ll be disappointed not to have played more regularly in 2023 considering how well things had started for him.
As Doyle says, part of that could be down to Liverpool’s struggles this season, along with a relative lack of cup games in which to give Carvalho an opportunity.
The summer pre-season programme does indeed feel like a vital period for the youngster’s immediate future at the club, although the near-certain participation in the Europa League may offer him a window to feature more prominently in the first half of 2023/24 at least.
The 20-year-old may also look at teammate Curtis Jones, who’d been on the fringes for much of the campaign before enjoying a run of starts in recent weeks and making the most of those, not least with his quickfire double against Leicester.
The Toxeth lad offers a perfect role model for Carvalho to try and emulate over the coming months.
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