Four options for Fabio Carvalho this January after Liverpool return

Fabio Carvalho has endured a difficult period since switching Fulham for Liverpool in 2022.

Having made a number of first-team appearances upon his arrival on Merseyside, the 21-year-old was then largely frozen out by Jurgen Klopp in the second half of last season.

Carvalho, who has largely been used in a midfield three for the Reds, subsequently made the loan move to RB Leipzig in last summer's transfer window, although things didn't go to plan in Germany.

The Portugal U21 international made 15 appearances for Leipzig, but only managed three starts as he struggled to impress Marco Rose.

As a result, Carvalho has been recalled early from his loan spell at the Red Bull Arena, with expectation being that he will be loaned out again this January.

With plenty of interested suitors, here are four potential options for the youngster this winter.

FABIO CARVALHO TO LEICESTER CITY

According to Ekrem Konur on X, Championship table-toppers Leicester City are interested in signing Carvalho on loan until the end of the season.

The Foxes are flying in the second division after their surprise relegation, with it only being a matter of time until Enzo Maresca's side return to the Premier League.

The King Power Stadium could prove a fruitful environment in which Liverpool's No. 28 can develop, although game time could be an issue for Carvalho in the Midlands.

With the likes of Stephy Mavididi, Issahaku Fatawu and academy product Kasey McAteer - who scored at Anfield earlier this season - all impressing, a spot in the wide areas may not be on the cards.

In midfield, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Wilfred Ndidi are Leicester's attacking options, both of whom have also been in stellar form.

Maresca's preference for playing a low-tempo, passing game could help Carvalho sharpen his technical skills, while the Championship would also prove a useful physical challenge for the 21-year-old.

FABIO CARVALHO TO SOUTHAMPTON

Another Championship club touted with interest in Carvalho are Southampton, at least according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano.

A club with which Liverpool have extensive history in the transfer market, the Saints have been in much improved form in recent months.

Russell Martin's side is full of talent too, including youngsters like Shea Charles, Carlos Alcaraz and Sekou Mara, so Carvalho would still face plenty of competition for places.

However, that competition may not be as fierce on the south coast, with Liverpool reportedly wanting assurances over Carvalho's game time.

Southampton currently find themselves third as they hunt down an automatic promotion spot and Carvalho would prove useful in their push for a Premier League return.

FABIO CARVALHO TO FULHAM

There have been suggestions that a return to Fulham could be on the cards for Carvalho, the youngster having provided 12 goals and eight assists during his time at Craven Cottage prior to his Liverpool move.

Obviously, an opportunity with the Cottagers would offer Carvalho greater Premier League experience, but if finding a route into the starting lineup at Leicester and Southampton promises to be difficult, it will only be harder in London.

With the likes of Willian, Bobby Decordova-Reid and former Red Harry Wilson in wide areas, as well as Tom Cairney, Alex Iwobi and Andreas Pereira in midfield, there would be intense competition for minutes.

However, a return to Fulham would provide Carvalho with a familiar environment, something which could aid the young attacker in his development.

STAYING AT LIVERPOOL

While a loan move is expected, there is nothing stopping Liverpool from keeping Carvalho around as a rotation option in the second half of the season.

With injuries only likely to stack up as the season progresses, the former Fulham man could be a useful squad player for Klopp, perhaps performing at a higher level in a more well-rounded Reds team.

Romano insists that Liverpool see Carvalho as part of their future plans, meaning he is certainly not for sale this winter.

The journalist suggests that a loan deal is almost certain, but Klopp could change his mind upon Carvalho's return to Anfield, especially if Liverpool can't find a suitable loan.

However, if the Reds really do see Carvalho as a future starter, then securing him greater game time at a high level would be the best option for all parties.

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