Liverpool feel Fabio Carvalho warning as Rafa Benitez regret admitted

Fabio Carvalho’s Fulham career came to an end on Saturday as the Cottagers finished the Championship campaign with a heavy defeat at Sheffield United. Yet with promotion back to the Premier League and the title secured, it hardly mattered for Marco Silva’s side.

Fabio Carvalho has been a star performer for the West Londoners this season, boasting 10 goals and eight assists to help ensure they secured an instant return to the top flight.

The Portugal Under-21s international previously caught the eye in the Premier League last season once Fulham’s relegation had been confirmed, scoring on his full debut against Southampton. Such form attracted the interest of liverpool ahead of Carvalho’s contract expiring this summer, and while they were unable to complete a deal on January transfer deadline day, they have since agreed a compensation package with the Cottagers for the teenager. Worth an initial £5m, with a further £2.7m in add-ons and a 20% sell-on clause also included, while the deal has not been announced yet, it is a poorly kept secret that Carvalho is off to Anfield.

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And having followed the 19-year-old’s progress at Craven Cottage, former Liverpool and Fulham midfielder Danny Murphy is excited to see Carvalho sign for his old club. However, despite the forward’s impressive form in the Championship, the former England international has warned fans not to expect too much too soon at Anfield.

“He’s very creative, he’s got a great low center of gravity, good skill, good awareness and he glides with the ball,” Murphy told the ECHOon behalf of The Punters Page . “He’s a really good young talent, but he isn’t going to get into the XI as it stands now.

“So, we’d be seeing glimpses of him like we do with Harvey Elliott and curtis jones. Is he better than those two? We’ll have to wait and see on that one, but I’m all for bringing in young talent and integrating it into the squad.

“At the moment it’s unlikely you can see anyone getting themselves into that side ahead of Diaz, Mane and salah. But when you’re talking about players moving forward in a couple of years’ time, if the likes of Salah and Mane move on then you’re going to need youngsters coming through.

“Obviously, they think highly of him, and I’ve seen him enough to know he’s a super talent, but I think he needs a couple of years learning at the top level before you could think of him breaking into a Liverpool XI.”

Considering the Reds are currently competing for an unprecedented quadruple, it would be a tough ask for any player to immediately break into their starting XI next season, never mind a youngster with only a full campaign of Championship football under his belt.

While Liverpool’s Premier League title hopes might have been dealt a blow at the weekend by their 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur, they are still in both the Champions League and FA Cup finals and on the verge of completing an historic club treble.

Having been a member of the Reds side that won a cup treble in 2000/01, Murphy knows what it takes to deliver multiple honors in a season. And he believes even if Jurgen Klopp’s side fall short in their hunt for the quadruple, he will take nothing away from just how impressive their campaign has been.

“Winning the treble was some of the best memories of my career and in my life, to win trophies with a club you grew up supporting,” Murphy recalled. “Singing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ at the end of finals with the fans are things you thought would never happen to you, so to do it was special.

“In terms of that they’re just wonderful memories and special things to think back on and be proud of. It takes a little bit of luck, tremendous hard work and dedication to your profession which of course the players had.

“But it takes a great mentality because you have to keep producing big performances in huge moments. You also have to have the mentality to understand that not every game is going to be your game.

“We had a great mindset of players in that squad who were unselfish, not being a prima donna and thinking it’s all about you.”

Murphy continued: “I think the current Liverpool squad have that in abundance. There’s lots of factors that come to the game success, but ultimately you need to have that quality in what you do.

“Klopp deserves great quality for that currently because he’s created a machine with such tempo in his play and all the players are on board with it.

“Even if Liverpool were to win a treble this season, one of those trophies would be one of the big ones in the shape of the Premier League or Champions League. Winning three trophies would be a remarkable season for Liverpool and to win all four would be the best season anyone has ever had which speaks for itself.

“But for me, if it was just the FA Cup and the Champions League, then it would still go down as one of the greatest seasons in Liverpool’s history.”

While Murphy might have been a member of the Liverpool side to win the treble, he missed out on Champions League glory in 2005 after being sold by Rafa Benitez following the Spaniard’s arrival at Anfield.

Murphy admits, while his new manager made things difficult for him, if he could have his time again, he would have refused to leave the Reds. And he felt mixed emotions on May 25, 2005, watching on as his former team-mates lifted the European Cup in Istanbul.

“It was a weird one watching them win it because a part of me was feeling, ‘you weren’t there,’ as I left the same season,” Murphy recalled. “Seeing them win it was amazing because loads of my mates were playing so I was so pleased for them, but sad because I wasn’t there.

“Maybe I should have dug in, but Rafa made it very difficult for me by being honest. He didn’t have to be, but I appreciated that looking back because I liked playing and I didn’t want to be a bit part player sitting on the bench.

“But I think looking back I should have stayed and dug my heels in. If I didn’t prove him wrong then fine, I could have left the summer after. But it’s difficult in the moment, when you’re in your 20s and you think you’re mature and understand things.

“You’re given basically a 48-hour window to make decisions on the rest of your career, so when you’re told you’re not going to play and be first choice with other players coming in instead of me… The one thing I did love in life was playing football and I didn’t want to become somebody who’s hanging on to something.

“It was a difficult one, hindsight is a wonderful thing but if I could turn back the clock then I would have dug in. I would have tried to prove him wrong, and I think I should have given it one more year.”


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