Cody Gakpo joining Liverpool could harm Fabio Carvalho. The Portuguese playmaker’s role is now unclear.
There’s a lot of excitement about Cody Gakpo joining Liverpool – and rightfully so. Here’s a player with a magnificent record in the Netherlands, as well as some starring performances at the World Cup.
But there’s one person at Liverpool who may not be entirely thrilled. That’s Fabio Carvalho, who sees a more experienced £37m signing arrive in his role.
Carvalho has been Liverpool’s backup option on the left wing. He started there just last week, in fact, in the EFL Cup against Manchester City. He even scored in that game, showing off his ability to deliver from the start.
Liverpool, though, have moved to sign Gakpo – and he primarily plays on the left wing. It’s okay for Carvalho right now as he’ll still hold onto that backup role but it’s gone once Diogo Jota and Luis Díaz return.
So what then?
Fabio Carvalho after Cody Gakpo
Carvalho has incredible talent. Phil Thompson routinely talks him up, for instance, viewing him as an ‘absolute star’ in the making.
You don’t need to watch him for very long to see it, either. Carvalho is always quick to show a body feint or a clever pass – something that shows his talent for playmaking.
But with Gakpo’s arrival, we’re not sure when or where he plays. The left wing is now full of talent when everyone is fit, leaving Carvalho as fourth-choice there at best. There’s half a chance that he plays as a backup False 9 after Roberto Firmino but again, there are centre-forward options ahead of him.
Could he convert to a midfield role? That seems like the obvious one, honestly. Liverpool have midfielders leaving in 2023 and Carvalho could become a good attacking one.
It would mean learning a new position at 20, though. That’s the problem here – Carvalho is at the age where he needs regular football in order to develop properly.
Liverpool obviously rate him highly as he only arrived in the summer. Whether they can find space for him in their squad, however, is another thing entirely.