Liverpool have been told their stance on Fabio Carvalho is a 'typical power play'. The playmaker isn't having a good time with RB Leipzig.
RB Leipzig loaned Fabio Carvalho from Liverpool in the summer - a move the initially looked perfect for the player. As we approach the halfway point in the season, however, it's turned into a bit of a nightmare.
Carvalho has zero goals or assists this season. That would worry Liverpool on its own but even worse is that he's played just 165 minutes in the Bundesliga.
He hasn't quite made it to two full games' worth of football, in other words. Given Carvalho has been fit to play, it's hard to imagine things going worse than that.
And so the talk of late has been that Liverpool want Carvalho back in January. Maybe that's to use him, maybe that's to sell him or maybe that's to find a better fit out on loan.
However, that talk has essentially been dismissed at Leipzig. They're calling it a 'typical power play' by Liverpool - an attempt to scare Leipzig into using him more often.
They're saying that isn't necessary.
“Typical power play,” says RB Leipzig director Rouven Schröder per FussballTransfers. “We want the boy to scratch and bite.
"He will get his game time.”
Will that pacify Liverpool for now? It's not exactly the strongest guarantee and it's almost certainly what they said in the summer when loaning Carvalho in the first place.
The worry is that they'll never give him that game time - that they'll just see out the season having barely used the youngster and then cast him off back to Liverpool. There's no long-term sacrifice made at Leipzig, after all.
As things stand, Carvalho is on course for 230 Bundesliga minutes this season. That is around two and a half games - over an entire season. It's not good enough from Leipzig and if they aren't committed to using him, Carvalho shouldn't be there.