Liverpool are set to lose an all-time club legend in Roberto Firmino this summer after eight years on Merseyside, but one player in Jurgen Klopp’s squad could benefit from his departure.
This player would be Fabio Carvalho, who has struggled for minutes in the second half of the 2022/23 season.
A major factor behind Liverpool’s late season success has been the remarkable depth in the front three with Klopp having the choice between Mohamed Salah, Cody Gakpo, Diogo Jota, Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz and Roberto Firmino.
Six seems to be the magic number for Klopp, meaning all three forwards can be rotated if everyone is fit at the same time.
However, with Firmino set to leave this summer, that number will drop to just five but this is where opportunities could arise for Carvalho.
A lot of fans have been heavily critical of the 20-year-old this season, but personally I think if we remain patient with the youngster he could become a very special player.
Nobody seems to know the reason why Klopp has stopped using the Portuguese youngster, with him playing just two minutes of Premier League football since the World Cup in December.
I suspect that the arrival of Cody Gakpo, the return to fitness of Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino and the emergence of Stefan Bajcetic have been the main factors behind Carvalho’s absence in the second half of the season.
Carvalho has made 21 appearances for the Reds this season, but only playing 722 minutes of football in total – averaging approximately 34 minutes per appearance.
As well as using the season to gain crucial first-team experience, he has also shown glimpses of becoming a real creative force, scoring three goals so far this season.
Obviously he has a long way to go, but he really reminds me of a young Philippe Coutinho and I think could really suit playing in the half space role that Curtis Jones has occupied in recent weeks in Klopp’s new system.
His involvement next season also depends on Klopp’s plans for the likes of Ben Doak and Kaide Gordon who are tipped to feature more regularly in the first-team in the 2023/24 season.
However, at the moment Carvalho looks set to leave Liverpool at the end of the season with the likes of Fulham and Bournemouth heavily linked with the youngster.
A loan move is the most likely option after only joining the Reds last summer, but a permanent move hasn’t yet been ruled out by both the player and the club.
Personally, I hope we give Carvalho another chance next season to prove himself because I really do think there is a really talented player who could breakthrough in the next couple of seasons.