Fabio Carvalho is set for another setback since his move from Fulham to Liverpool. The young playmaker is struggling right now.
Fabio Carvalho looked like a sure-fire win for Liverpool when he joined in 2022. He'd just thrived in the Championship with Fulham, leading them to promotion as one of the most exciting prospects in English football.
The Reds struck a deal months in advance just to get him - and it looked like incredible business. That feeling continued through a promising pre-season and an encouraging start to the Premier League campaign.
Only, Carvalho never really kicked on. There wasn't much development at all, while he failed to lay down a claim for a first-team place at a time when Liverpool were struggling. In some ways, that wasn't his fault - Jurgen Klopp tends to go with more known quantities when things aren't going well.
But Curtis Jones's rise at the end of the season showed how far off Carvalho was - and how he'd missed his opportunity to force a way into the team. Some sort of move felt inevitable in the summer and it came in the form of a loan to RB Leipzig.
Now, again, Carvalho has been unfortunate. Leipzig also brought in Xavi Simons from Paris Saint-Germain on loan the Dutchman was in sparkling form last season. He's taken that to Germany and essentially forced Liverpool's youngster out of his role.
Carvalho has only played 13 per cent of his available minutes this season. He has no goals or assists and is making next to no impact with Leipzig.
It's another setback, in other words, and there's set to be another one. The Athletic reports that Leipzig want to sign a new attacking player in January, with Granada's Bryan Zaragoza on their list. Should he arrive, it would be another player in front of Carvalho - something that will likely limit his minutes even further.
It would be a blow to Liverpool, too. If Carvalho is to play even less, he'll return to Anfield in the summer with a dented reputation and his value at an all-time low. The chances of him playing for the Reds would be next to zero, while selling him would feel like a waste and poor timing.
The best situation could be another loan, but one that suits him a little better. That's a dangerous cycle for any player to get into, though, and not one that usually leads to success.
Hopefully, then, things can click for Carvalho over the second half of this season and he forces his way into Leipzig's plans. Liverpool will certainly be crossing their fingers.