Julian Ward and Michael Edwards might have earned themselves a few days off after the last week in order to sign Luis Diaz but they need to put some more hours in to put the groundwork in place to sign Fabio Carvalho in the summer.
The 19-year-old was set to join Liverpool and then re-join Fulham on loan for the rest of the season to sustain the Cottagers’ promotion push.
Yet, due to the late hour at which the Reds decided to accelerate their interest, there was not enough time to sign him, process the paperwork for the transfer from Fulham to Liverpool and then do the same for the paperwork for the loan back to the Championship outfit.
So, Liverpool now have the worrying prospect of being beaten to the teenager’s signature by the likes of Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund, with the latter particularly well-known for poaching young talent.
Manchester United were famously beaten to Jude Bellingham’s signature and Liverpool will begin to worry the same could happen with Carvalho so the Reds should look to get an agreement in place with the 19-year-old.
With less than 6 months remaining on his Fulham deal, Liverpool can reach a pre-contract agreement with the attacking midfielder to state that upon the expiry of his terms in west London, he will join the Merseysiders and they will pay a fee to Fulham as laid out by a tribunal.
Just my opinion but I still expect him to join Liverpool in the summer and so it’s going to be very fun watching his progress in the Championship for the rest of the season especially as he already has 7 goals and 4 assists in a free-flowing Fulham side.
Liverpool pushing so hard to sign him is very interesting to me. For me, it suggests that the Reds may look to move away from a system that relies solely on its fullbacks for chance creation which I think is wise.
Don’t get me wrong, Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold are the best fullbacks on the planet in the attacking department and are also very good at defending despite what detractors might like to say.
But having a more balanced build-up approach will only make Liverpool more unpredictable and I think having a playmaker like Carvalho (if he can play in a role similar to Philippe Coutinho in 2017/18), will help Mohamed Salah.
The half-season before Coutinho left for Barcelona, Liverpool played arguably some of the best football they have played under Klopp.
Coutinho, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah interchanged so freely and scored goals of every type from every angle and distance that it was such a shame when Barcelona signed the Brazilian even if it did usher in a new era.
Now, I don’t expect Carvalho to reach those levels any time soon because Coutinho was 25 that season so the Fulham star has 6 years to go before it will be fair to ask him to match that but he has similarities that are undeniable.