Fabio Carvalho has appeared to take aim at Jurgen Klopp over the position in which he was played at Liverpool prior to his loan move to RB Leipzig last month.
The 20-year-old was signed from Fulham by the German only a year ago but, following a season in which the youngster struggled for game-time, he’s been loaned out to the Bundesliga side for the 2023/24 campaign.
He’s now claimed that promises which were made to him regarding his role within the team were broken due to the way in which the manager set up tactically, citing that as the reason why it hasn’t worked out for him at Anfield so far.
As per Transfermarkt, Carvalho said: “I feel like why it didn’t work out at Liverpool was because of the position I was playing. I was playing on the left, which isn’t really my position. I was told that I would play as a no.10, but we didn’t really play with a no.10 last year.
“When we play with a no.10, then I can get on my prominent side, and I am able to turn. That’s why I would say it didn’t work out, and whether I will be here or at Liverpool next year, we will have to see how it works out.”
While Carvalho predominantly played on the left during his 21 appearances for the Reds last season, he was also given a few games in his preferred position as a number 10 (Transfermarkt), so it wasn’t as if Klopp completely neglected the 20-year-old’s desire to play just behind the front three.
Although the manager showed increased tactical flexibility towards the end of the campaign, most notably in terms of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s redeployment, it was long established that his preferred setup was a 4-3-3 in which there wasn’t a ‘number 10’ role in a nominal sense.
You’d therefore imagine that, irrespective of what he may have been told, the ex-Fulham youngster could’ve reasonably expected that there’d be games where he’d be deployed out wide or possibly in a more central midfield berth rather than in behind the attackers.
It’s ultimately Klopp’s choice as to how Liverpool are set up, and who’s selected to carry out his best-laid plans, so there’s an onus on players to be willing to adapt to what the manager asks of them.
Carvalho is a talented prospect, and it’s telling that the Reds weren’t interested in selling him outright, so let’s hope he gets regular game-time at Leipzig and has a fruitful spell in Germany so that he comes back to Anfield a more refined player who’s ready to truly make his mark for his parent club.