EPL

Carvalho tipped to be 'really important' for Liverpool as Klopp's teenage recruit returns to Fulham

By Sports Desk August 05, 2022

Jurgen Klopp believes "massive talent" Fabio Carvalho can dazzle in the Premier League with Liverpool ahead of the teenager's Fulham reunion.

The first Saturday of the English top-flight season sees Liverpool travel to tackle last season's Championship winners, who return to the elite after a traumatic 2020-21 relegation.

Fulham have yo-yoed between the Championship and Premier League over recent years, having two single-season spells among the big boys and three promotions.

Portuguese winger Carvalho scored 10 goals and had eight assists in 36 Championship games for Fulham last season, leading to a £5million switch to Anfield.

"He's a top player. I really love it," said Klopp. "He's a massive talent and a really good kid. I'm really happy to have him, it's very important for us because we count on this age group as well.

"We don't wait until they're 22, 23, or whatever, and then we use them. He's ready like Harvey [Elliott] is ready, in a similar age group.

"And that's really good. We all need luck in life with injuries and stuff like this, but without that he will be a really important player for us."

Midfielder Elliott also joined Liverpool from Fulham, three years ago in his case. Both players are 19, with Carvalho coming up for his 20th birthday on August 30, and Klopp quipped that Liverpool's buys from the Cottagers carry echoes of a former spending habit.

"It's like with Southampton in the past," Klopp said, harking back to deals for the likes of Sadio Mane, Adam Lallana and Virgil van Dijk.

Carvalho had a fleeting introduction to the Premier League as a fringe figure with Fulham in their relegation campaign, and will hope to be more involved with Liverpool.

Saturday's game might look like a mismatch, but closer examination suggests Liverpool will need to be sharp to avoid an early slip-up.

Two seasons ago, when bossed by Scott Parker, Fulham became the first side to fail to reach double figures for goals in home league games in English league history, netting just nine in 19 games in their relegation campaign.

They are winless in their last 10 Premier League games (D2 L8), yet their last top-flight victory came against Liverpool in March 2021.

Indeed, Fulham also managed a 1-1 home draw against Klopp's team in that campaign, as Liverpool suffered a hangover from their previous title-winning season.

The Cottagers' four points against the Reds was their joint-most against any opponent, with Fulham also taking four against Sheffield United and West Brom, who joined them in tumbling into the second tier.

Encouragement for Liverpool comes in knowing that on the five previous occasions Fulham have been promoted to the top flight, they have then lost their first league match of the season, doing so in 1949-50, 1959-60, 2001-02, 2018-19 and 2020-21.

Some will expect Marco Silva's team to be easily picked off by Liverpool, who were runners-up to champions Manchester City in May, but Klopp does not see it that way.

"Fulham is doing really well and did extremely well last year," Klopp said.

"I met Marco at a managers' meeting in London. Getting promoted but playing football is one of the harder things to do in the Championship. He gets all my respect and that's what Fulham did."

Klopp lost his first Premier League meeting with Silva in February 2017, with his side beaten 2-0 away at Hull. Since then, though, Klopp is unbeaten in his last four against the Portuguese in the competition (W2 D2), with the most recent being a 5-2 win against Silva's Everton.

Liverpool secured Mohamed Salah on an extended contract during the off season, and the Egyptian will be looking for a familiar fast start to a season.

He has scored in Liverpool's Premier League opener in each of his past five seasons with the club, the only player in the competition to have ever put such a run together. Salah has seven goals in all on matchday one in the competition, one shy of the record held jointly by Alan Shearer, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney.

Related items

  • Tuchel comments under investigation by the FA Tuchel comments under investigation by the FA

    Thomas Tuchel's post-match comments about referee Anthony Taylor following Chelsea's 2-2 draw with Tottenham are under investigation by the Football Association (FA).

    Tuchel was furious at some of the decisions made by Taylor during the feisty stalemate at Stamford Bridge, a game that saw tensions boil over.

    The German suggested Spurs' first goal should have been disallowed due to the offside Richarlison standing in Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy's line of sight, and then he felt aggrieved over the visitors' second equaliser due to two incidents.

    Firstly, he felt Kai Havertz was fouled by Rodrigo Bentancur in the build-up to the corner that Harry Kane ultimately headed home from, and at the same set-piece Cristian Romero avoided being penalised for pulling Marc Cucurella to the ground by his hair.

    Tuchel and Spurs coach Antonio Conte clashed during and after the game, with their second confrontation resulting in both bosses being shown red cards.

    This was a particular bone of contention for Tuchel, who sarcastically said: "I cannot coach but the referee can whistle the next game? Good."

    Chelsea fans have voiced their displeasure with Taylor before, but Tuchel went even further when asked about the supporters' concerns, as he suggested "the whole dressing room of us, every person thinks that."

    He was then pushed on whether the players are worried when Taylor is the official in charge, and he added: "Yeah, of course."

    Stats Perform understands the FA is already looking into Tuchel's comments, meaning disciplinary action could be forthcoming.

    The FA's investigation will focus on whether Tuchel has brought the game into "disrepute" by implying bias or attacking the integrity of a referee.

     

  • Klopp mocks early critics of Nunez and Haaland Klopp mocks early critics of Nunez and Haaland

    Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp thinks it is "crazy" how quickly critics were on the backs of Darwin Nunez and Erling Haaland in pre-season.

    Uruguay striker Nunez joined the Reds from Benfica in a transfer potentially worth £85million (€100m) in June, while Manchester City sealed a reported £51m (€60m) deal with Borussia Dortmund for Haaland a month earlier.

    Both major investments were seen as deals that could widen the gap between them and the rest of the Premier League, though each player has courted criticism.

    For Nunez, the flak arrived as early as his first pre-season game after missing a big chance in a 4-0 defeat to Manchester United.

    Haaland was then ridiculed for a difficult day against the Reds as Klopp's side won the Community Shield at the end of July.

    Nunez scored in that win over City before coming off the bench to find the back the net and provide an assist for Mohamed Salah in a 2-2 draw at Fulham, while Haaland marked his Premier League debut with a double in a win at West Ham.

    For Klopp, the desperation tp write players off is unhelpful and unfair.

    Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of Monday's clash with Crystal Palace, Klopp said: "Five weeks ago, when we started pre-season and [Nunez] had his first game and it didn't look great from the outside world.

    "Not for us, but it's crazy how quick we judge people… wow!

    "Imagine if somebody did that to us and said, 'First day of work, it didn't work out. Go home, we never want to see you again! And you don't get a second chance by the way' – we would have all been long gone! No chance.

    "Everybody can now see, 'Ah he's a proper striker' – so good for us and good for him.

    "He's a handful and is a different type to what we had. He's very lively and very energetic. Physically he's really strong and technically he's really good, that obviously goes together with being more settled and confident and more secure in yourself in a new environment.

    "You can't say, 'Come on, you have to give me 100 per cent immediately' – you have to develop it and that's what we're doing at the moment and in a good way.

    "It's funny as well, we won against Manchester City the week before the season and everybody was asking, 'Will Haaland score this and that?'

    "A week is like 10 years in football!"

    Klopp has had to contend with the disruption of several injuries already, but he reiterated the Reds are not planning to go into the transfer market.

    "If there was the right player and an opportunity, we would have done it, we would do it, but I don't see it because we had a lot of conversations already and it doesn't look like something will happen," he added.

    "I'm happy with the strength, size and quality of my squad but we have injuries. There are plenty of solutions for it. One of them is the transfer market, but that only makes sense if you can bring in the right player.

    "All the other solutions are inside the squad. We have too many injuries, that's clear. Naby [Keita] will be back for Monday and Kostas [Tsimikas] will train for the first time, so he might be back as well."

  • Klopp confident the goals will come for Reds winger Diaz Klopp confident the goals will come for Reds winger Diaz

    Jurgen Klopp is confident the goals will come for Luis Diaz after the winger was wasteful in the 2-2 draw at Fulham last weekend.

    Diaz missed two Opta-defined 'big chances' in the Reds' opening match of the Premier League season at Craven Cottage, rattling the post in the first half.

    The Colombia international took no time to settle at Anfield following his big-money move from Porto in January, scoring six goals and providing five assists in 26 appearances last season.

    Liverpool lost Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich in June, but Klopp is backing Diaz to help fill the void left by the Senegal forward.

    Asked if Diaz can score 10-15 goals this season, the Reds manager said: "Oh definitely, that is his quality. We need to see but of course that is his potential.

    "We work on it but not with Luis specifically. We don't take him out because the other two scored and he didn't, so we show him how. That's not necessary. It's not a problem. You can't force it

    "Last week people were asking ‘How can you play without Sadio?' but in November/December everybody was thinking about when he would score the next goal, and Mo [Salah] was on fire. You just let it go.

    "You see the situations Luis had, big chances, and he was just unlucky. He started on the first day with us and took part in all the sessions and that is the most important thing.

    "All the rest will come. In the long term it is of course not a problem. It is about being prepared and fighting through moments like this."

    Klopp called for patience with Diaz ahead of Liverpool's first home game of the season against Crystal Palace on Monday.

    He added: "When Sadio played against us, he scored three times for Southampton but it was not that he scored every week. He didn't even start the game when he played against us.

    "So the consistency came with the confidence and with the team-mates, the structure of our game. So that is what we're working on that doesn't change. The way we play should help strikers. It is the way we play. It's the way we bring the boys in the situation.

    "Of course it is about whether it is in you or not, but it's the way we play, how we position the players, how we protect the players, where we win the balls back.

    "And it is how the boys can use their speed in these moments. They will be in a lot of goalscoring situations and that then makes you the player we remember."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.