The 2022-23 season didn’t go to plan for Fabio Carvalho. The young Portuguese midfielder arrived having been one of Fulham’s standout players the season before but in the end only played 730 minutes in all competitions, with most of that coming before the World Cup.
After play resumed in December, Carvalho played just 120 minutes the rest of the way—with 66 of those minutes coming in a League Cup replay against Wolves in January. It’s perhaps not a surprise, then, that as the season ended there were rumblings he wanted a move.
That desire to depart was matched by RB Leipzig’s desire to bring him into the fold, with the German club making a bid buy him on a permanent deal. Liverpool rejected it out of hand, but such was Leipzig’s determination they have now agreed a season-long loan for him.
According to multiple reports, there will be no clause to trigger a permanent deal, and so unless Leipzig can agree a permanent transfer at a later date, Carvalho will return to the club in the summer of 2024, fully satisfy Liverpool’s desire not to lose him permanently.
Hopefully, that won’t lead to Carvalho being a second-class player at Leipzig, one sidelined in favour of options that the club have tied down beyond the current campaign. Carvalho had reportedly been resisting a loan for that very reason, and it’s a legitimate concern.
Still, it seems obvious Leipzig quite wanted to sign him, and even if there isn’t a formal clause in place, it seems plausible at least to think that if Carvalho’s loan goes well but the Reds don’t have an obvious place for him in a year he could yet end up there permanently.