Premier League • England

Liverpool press conference: Klopp tees up big Carvalho role and addresses ‘strange’ Firmino, Nunez probe

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool press conference July 2022

Jurgen Klopp has said that he is not waiting around for Fabio Carvalho to develop, with the teenager ready for a big Liverpool role this season.

The 19-year-old midfielder has arrived from Fulham and has settled in well with his new team-mates in pre-season. He has featured in all seven of the Reds’ summer matches, playing a variety of roles.

And in last Sunday’s 3-0 defeat to Strasbourg, Carvalho played his first full 90 minutes for Liverpool.

Speaking in Friday’s press conference, Klopp hinted that his full participation is a sign that he is building towards becoming a key Liverpool player this season.

“He’s a top player and a massive talent,” the manager told the media of Carvalho. “We’re really happy to have and he’s really important for us.

“We count on this age group, we don’t wait until they are 22, 23 and then use them. No, he is ready like Harvey [Elliott] is ready in that age group.

“We all need luck in life with injuries, but without that he will be a really important player for us.”

Former Benfica striker Darwin Nunez is another new signing at Liverpool – and a club-record one at that.

Like with Carvalho, Klopp said the Uruguayan is ready to start. He added that Nunez is “already a real help” and that his adaptation has gone “really quick”.

At the age of 22, Nunez has a lot of time left in his career – and a lot of learning to do. At the other end of the scale, Roberto Firmino is a seasoned professional who is in the final year of his Anfield contract.

Klopp asked about Firmino, Nunez connection

Klopp said the pair are good friends and “talk a lot”, but refused to believe that the pair can learn too much off each other.

“Both are from South America, they like each other a lot and they are both offensive players, but they play different positions,” he said.

“Bobby is an exceptional player and has his own way of playing. You mentioned about Bobby playing like Darwin or the other way around. That’s strange.

“It’s not necessary. As a person yes, but as a player I’m not sure.”

Liverpool lost to Fulham on their last Premier League meeting in March 2021, with the Cottagers winning 1-0 at Anfield.