Jurgen Klopp has a magician set for a Philippe Coutinho-esque midfield role this season in new signing Fabio Carvalho.
The newly-signed attacking midfielder made his debut against Manchester United in the pre-season friendly defeat on Tuesday.
Despite the loss, fans will happy with the midfielder’s skilful debut which included him hitting the post as well as showing good link-up with Harvey Elliot and Luis Diaz.
The cameo even brought about comparisons to Coutinho, according to Twenty3Sport’s Sam McGuire.
— The Athletic UK (@TheAthleticUK) July 3, 2022
With only 30-odd minutes to analyse, he described the performance as ‘brief but eventful’
In McGuire’s article regarding the comparisons to Coutinho, he ponders how Liverpool could use Carvalho in a similar way to the Brazilian.
As Harvey Elliot, who started last season in Liverpool’s three-man midfield, began on the right wing it meant Carvalho slotted into the midfield – something that comes naturally to his game.
“Though deployed as a No10 for Fulham in their 4-2-3-1 shape the last term, Carvalho often peeled away to the left-hand side,” McGuire stated.
“At one stage of the season, Liverpool were averaging three goals per 90 in the Premier League with their tweaked system. By allowing the right-sided midfielder to act almost as a fourth forward, the Reds added a new dimension to their attacking arsenal.
“The assumption was that Carvalho if used in midfield, would occupy that position. However, Klopp might rejig a few things and have the left-sided midfielder as the fourth attacker, especially with Luis Diaz different in profile to Sadio Mane.”
“Marco Silva, the way he plays football and made us play football, is more like attacking football and getting goals, which is similar to how Liverpool play, which is to score goals and dominate games. That’s what I’m here to do. I’m looking forward to it!” pic.twitter.com/VsLsGRz9Tl
— The Anfield Talk (@TheAnfieldTalk) July 3, 2022
Carvalho possesses a similar build and skillset to Coutinho as a diminutive but sharp and tricky attacker.
Coutinho thrived in a three-man midfield before he left for Barcelona in a mega-money move in January 2018 with 20 G/A’s in 20 games.
Whereas Coutinho was a direct threat in that role, we saw this last year from Carvalho in the Championship at Fulham.
He made the team of the season thanks to his 10 goals and eight assists in their promotion-winning campaign.
His off-the-ball work was noticeable as well, as he won the ball back in the United half three times in just half an hour yesterday; exactly the type of work rate that Klopp likes from his midfield.
Klopp will have to balance the likes of Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliot, Carvalho and Naby Keita in that midfield role but Carvalho will certainly get plenty of minutes in midfield for Liverpool this season.