Fabio Carvalho‘s loan has not been as fruitful as Liverpool or the player would have envisaged so far, but Leipzig manager Marco Rose has instructed him to “excel” for a place in the side.
With game time at Anfield to be at a premium this season, the Reds viewed a loan for Carvalho as the best step for his continued development – but it has not quite panned out that way.
In Leipzig’s 20 games across all competitions, Carvalho has started just two – both came in September – and has amassed just 257 minutes of on-field action.
The 21-year-old has had stiff competition from Dani Olmo and Xavi Simons – both of whom have suffered shoulder injuries – and now Rose has urged the Liverpool loanee to first “excel” in training.
“He’s a good boy, a good footballer. You can see his qualities,” Rose said of the young attacker.
“He has real goals in front of him in his position. He’s close, but he has to stick with it. Then he’ll definitely get opportunities again and again, to show yourself.
“He is broadening our squad and has been getting more playing time in the last few games. He has to use this and excel in training too.”
Carvalho has come off the bench in three of Leipzig’s last four matches, which accounts for 30 percent of his substitute appearances so far this season.
The 21-year-old came agonisingly close to scoring a potential winner at Man City in midweek, only to narrowly be called offside, and the hope is that he can now build on that before the German side’s winter break.
You sense, though, from Rose’s words that there are zero guarantees and Liverpool will be watching their final five games of the year closely before they reassess the situation.
It would not be surprising to see talks take place between Liverpool and Leipzig over terminating the loan if his prospects do not look any brighter for the second half of the season.
Of the 27 players used by Klopp this season, only six have less minutes than Carvalho’s 257 – and all of them are members of the club’s academy.