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Fabio Carvalho understands Klopp’s lack of confidence in him – but ‘I’m grateful to him’


Fabio Carvalho can understand Jurgen Klopp‘s lack of confidence in him throughout his debut season at Liverpool, and he remains grateful for all the help he received from the manager.

The 21-year-old struggled in his first season at Anfield, starting just eight of his 21 appearances in 2022/23, with it quickly obvious he didn’t quite fit Klopp’s needs.

Add to that Liverpool’s tumultuous campaign, and Klopp often turned to those he was well acquainted with, leaving Carvalho starved of opportunities.

The youngster, though desperate to make his mark at Liverpool, understood the predicament that faced Klopp and remains “grateful” for the help he did receive from the German.

In an interview with Portuguese outlet A Bola, Carvalho said of Klopp and his time at Liverpool so far: “It was a bit like my career has been: with ups and downs. But I learned a lot there, with players at another level.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 27, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (R) embraces Fabio Carvalho after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. Liverpool won 9-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I went to Liverpool because I want to be the best player in the world. And to get there, I have to compete every day with the best in the world.

“It’s a very strong group, on and off the field, that welcomed me as one of their own. I am very grateful to them and to Klopp.

“[My relationship with Klopp] was good. He helped me. But when I arrived at the club, we were in a very difficult period, on and off the field. There were problems with the team and he needed to turn to the players he trusted most.

“I had just arrived and he didn’t have the greatest confidence in me, but he always helped me a lot and pointed out what I needed to do better and what I shouldn’t do.

“But we had players there with a lot of experience, who were playing very well, even though the team was not at its best. I was there to learn and continue training.”

It was not the first time a player had to bide their time under Klopp, but the lack of trust did knock Carvalho’s confidence.

He revealed: “There were games where I entered and I lacked confidence, perhaps because of the way I was playing, or because I had few opportunities.

“But as we were in a bad phase, I think he decided to bet on more experienced players to try to overcome that moment.”

2WBXEP9 Fabio Carvalho of Hull City during the Sky Bet Championship match Hull City vs Norwich City at MKM Stadium, Hull, United Kingdom, 12th January 2024 (Photo by Mark Cosgrove/News Images)

Some honest words there from Carvalho, who will be “back in pre-season” and, of course, when he returns from his loan at Hull in the summer, there will be a new manager at the club and new opportunities.

With 11 appearances and four goals so far with the Tigers in the Championship, Carvalho is building confidence at just the right time.