Liverpool youngster Fabio Carvalho was once again an unused substitute for RB Leipzig as they defeated BSC Young Boys last night.
The 21-year-old was sent on a season-long loan this summer, after Liverpool had rejected approaches over a permanent deal.
Leipzig looked like a perfect destination for Carvalho to develop; the German league known for its attacking style of play and open space and being part of a progressive, young team looked like a great move for him - but it hasn’t worked out thus far.
One major issue is that Xavi Simmons, who arrived on loan from Paris Saint-Germain this summer, has filled the position that Carvalho originally was being eyed for.
Simmon, who was one of the best young players in Europe last season at PSV Eindhoven, netting 22 goals in all competitions and becoming one of the most sought-after players in the process and he is now valued at around £40m.
He’s carried that form into this season and with three goals and four assists in just six games so far this season - starting in every game.
That has left Carvalho feeding off scraps when it comes to his game time; he’s featured for a grand total of 44 minutes so far, with all three of those appearances coming off the bench.
There’s also the likes of Emil Forsberg, Christoph Baumgartner and Dani Olmo who operate in attacking positions to compete with.
He also struggled last season for minutes, as Liverpool had to contend with a bloated midfield roster, but the main issue was that Jurgen Klopp’s formation didn’t allow for Carvalho to play in his natural position.
With no central attacking midfield role, Carvalho would have to adapt to being one of the front three or one of the midfield three to feature in this side.
Plus, with four midfielders signed this summer and Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliot also showing high levels of performance, it looks a steep task to break into this Liverpool side - and he’s not going to do it with small substitute apperances in Germany.
Granted, the season has only just begun and with injuries and European football, there will obviously be chances for Carvalho to shine at some point.
However, fans will not be happy if he continues to be a bit-part player as the months roll on as the Portuguese youth international has displayed quality in the past, especially during Fulham’s promotion to the Premier League in the 2021/22 season.
Hopefully mananger Marco Rose will grant the youngster a chance to impress from the start in their upcoming games and he can start to show just why Liverpool signed him in the first place.