Liverpool have confirmed the £8 million signing of Fulham’s exciting youngster Fabio Carvalho as the push to halt Manchester City’s Premier League domination continues.
Carvalho’s arrival at Anfield from July 1 is no secret. Liverpool agreed terms for the 19-year-old on transfer deadline day in January. They were unable to process the paperwork to conclude the signing in time to make him a Liverpool player then, but negotiations continued and the Anfield club have now completed the formalities.
Carvalho will join for an initial £5 million, further strengthening Liverpool’s attacking line which has evolved during the course of this season.
Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are the senior strikers who for the first few years of their partnership, when fit, had no real competition to their starting status.
That began to change when Diogo Jota arrived in the summer of 2020, and Klopp’s options were further strengthened by Luis Diaz in January. Diaz has since become a first choice pick after a brilliant start to his Anfield career.
Carvalho – who is versatile enough to play in attack or a deeper midfield role – arrives with Liverpool with an eye on the long-term as much as next season’s title bid, and the club needed more offensive options following Divock Origi’s imminent departure on a free transfer. Salah, Mane and Firmino are all out of contract at the same time in 2023. It is inconceivable all will leave together, but talks to prolong their deals have been protracted. Some kind of resolution is anticipated when conversations resume after next weekend’s Champions League final.
Aside from Carvalho, Liverpool say discussions about the make-up of the squad for 2022-23 are on hold until after next weekend’s showdown with Real Madrid.
There are several players such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino who have been understudies for most of the season. They would be expected to attract interest should they seek more game time elsewhere.
Analysis: How Carvalho’s talent was there for all to see at Fulham
By Mike McGrath
On the training pitches of Motspur Park, Fulham’s academy players can often be found watching first-team sessions, or being asked to join in. This was the introduction Fabio Carvalho had to men’s football.
It was also Harrison Reed’s first sighting of the teenager who has since made such an impression on the Championship that Liverpool wanted to sign him.
When players arrived for training the morning after Carvalho almost moved to Anfield in January, there was some light-hearted joshing at his attempt to seal the deal. According to midfielder Reed, the positive culture in the dressing room ensured disappointment could be taken with a smile.
“It was a long day for him and he looked a bit tired, but he was there with a smile on his face,” Reed says. “There were a few jokes being cracked but he was fine. The plan was for him to be here all the time anyway, so he’ll be focused.”
It was obvious to all concerned that Carvalho would not have to wait long to enjoy a more protracted stay at the top level.
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