Liverpool forward Fabio Carvalho will spend the remainder of the 2023/24 campaign on loan at Championship play-off hopefuls Hull City, the Anfield club announced on Wednesday.
Around this time last year, the Portugal U-21 international seemed on his way to becoming a valuable first-team member on Merseyside, yet very few things have gone his way since.
In January 2022, Liverpool fought tooth and nail to secure Carvalho’s arrival from Fulham, agreeing to pour £7.7 million into the Cottagers’ coffers for the highly-rated teenager amid genuine interest from AC Milan.
Given his outstanding start to life at Anfield, the fee the Reds paid the London outfit had looked like a highway robbery.
Shortly after finding his Premier League breakthrough in a 9-0 rout of Bournemouth, he came off the bench to net a 98th-minute winner against Newcastle United.
Carvalho’s match-winning cameo performance earned him a round of plaudits from Jurgen Klopp, who described him as ‘a player who can bring a stadium to its feet’ in an interview with the club’s website.
It was supposed to be the youngster’s ticket for regular first-team football at Anfield, but as the 2022/23 campaign reached the halfway stage, Carvalho vanished into thin air.
After featuring in 11 of Liverpool’s opening 14 Premier League matches, the 21-year-old disappeared from the picture, clocking up only eight minutes of action in the second half of the season.
When the Reds faced Newcastle in the reverse fixture, the Portuguese prodigy wasn’t part of Klopp’s matchday squad, suggesting something was happening behind the scenes.
Following Carvalho’s unfathomable fall from grace, Klopp realised the only way for the ex-Fulham playmaker to continue his development was to depart Anfield.
RB Leipzig offered the unsettled starlet an escape route last summer, and given their sterling reputation for nurturing young talent, it seemed like a match made in heaven.
However, Carvalho was unfortunate to touch down at the Red Bull Arena in the company of Paris Saint-Germain loanee Xavi Simons.
With the Dutch phenom hitting the ground running from the get-go, the Liverpool loanee’s game time came at a premium.
Despite making a telling early impression during Leipzig’s pre-season, Carvalho never convinced manager Marco Rose to give him a more prominent role in his set-up.
Bereft of confidence, the attacking midfielder drew a blank in each of his 15 competitive appearances for the Red Bull outfit, forcing Liverpool to request his early return from a disappointing loan spell.
A series of disjointed performances in the Bundesliga keep the Anfield doors temporarily shut for Carvalho, who has three-and-a-half years left to run on his contract.
Impressing at Hull is imperative for the sake of his long-term prospects on Merseyside, and the Championship could be an ideal setting for the talented forward to get back on track.
Carvalho enjoyed a rise to prominence during Fulham’s promotion-winning campaign in 2021/22, excelling in the ‘No10’ role behind ex-Cottagers talisman Aleksandar Mitrovic.
He returns to the old stomping ground, desperate to prove his worth to Hull boss Liam Rosenior, who has done an excellent job turning another Liverpool loanee, Tyler Morton, into an established Championship star.
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