Charlie Shaw weighs up the pros and cons of bringing our starboy back from his troubles at Liverpool.
In the wake of just 158 minutes of Bundesliga action, Fabio Carvalho’s stock has fallen drastically from his 19 goal contributions as an integral part of Marco Silva’s Fulham attack in the 2021/22 campaign. Fabio had the world at his feet at Craven Cottage, but he chose to leave it all behind. With rumours circulating that the Liverpool man would be open to a return to Motspur Park, the question is, should Fulham now be the ones to leave Carvalho behind?
Weighing up the return
Fulham in recent weeks, have seemed keen to persist with the attacking trio of Cairney, Pereira and Iwobi. Meaning Fabio would certainly fit into many roles of Fulham’s revamped system. Adept to play off the left, with an ability to come inside, or start in Pereira role of a traditional number 10, the addition of Carvalho would add much needed competition and youth for places within Fulham’s thin first team squad. The addition of a press resistant yet creative, dynamic number 10 is a commodity within modern football, as Carvalho’s skill set, best showcased under Marco Silva’s tenure, fits into the mould of what is asked of modern-day attacking midfielder, partnering his obvious technical gifts, with a tenacious work rate, which helps him avoid becoming a luxury player out of possession.
If Fabio wishes to return to the Cottage, Fulham have the power in these negotiations. With Liverpool’s often-criticised treatment of the former Fulham star, and the recent deterioration in the Leipzig loanee’s value, both parties may see fit to move their separate ways, with both an initial loan to permanent deal or an initial transfer both attractive to both parties. Frustratingly for Fulham, the low fee Fulham received for Carvalho, could see Liverpool still recoup a small profit for the Championship winner’s services.
Wilfred Zaha’s thwarted spell at Manchester United leaves many parallels to Carvalho’s time at Liverpool. After leaving boyhood club Crystal Palace, Zaha struggled both on and off the pitch in the North West, and out on loan at Cardiff City, before returning to his beloved Palace for nine seasons, cementing himself as a club icon. Similarly to Zaha, Fabio could learn from his experience, something tying him closer to his former home in South West London. His depleted desire to move away to a club to a another big club could lead to Fulham keeping a hold of a potential superstar for longer than we have seen with previous stars, while still presenting the club with a major financial asset to cash in on when the time is right.
The return of the Fab
In conclusion, the opportunity for a club of Fulham’s stature to capture the services of a 21-year-old with all the attributes to reach the very top of the world’s game can’t be passed up. Fulham would be reckless to let any personal gripes about his exit get in the way of giving Marco Silva the keys to revive a potential world-class players career, as we have seen him do in differing circumstances before. With a chance to finish off what he started at Craven Cottage, Fulham may just be the place where Carvalho is meant to be, to become a legend.