Carvalho cameo as painful for Fulham as it will feel joyous for Liverpool's new kid on the block
He only played a few minutes and already he has a trophy.
There will have been a mix of pride and pain for Fulham fans watching Fabio Carvalho’s happy cameo at the King Power Stadium in Saturday’s curtain raiser.
The Community Shield switched to the Midlands because Wembley is needed for the women’s Euros final, of course, but the supposedly lower key venue did not make it any less fabulous for the Portuguese midfielder.
At a raucous and highly-charged arena, which seemed more vibrant with 30,000 than Wembley does with 80, Carvalho was not introduced until the 89th minute – coming on for Luis Diaz after receiving the biggest good-luck hug imaginable from the always-tactile Jurgen Klopp.
The 19-year-old must surely have felt he had come to the right place. His new team Liverpool, already 2-1 up and heading for victory, had one more goal in them.
Carvalho, who had already made a couple of good touches in his short time on the field, laid the ball out for Mo Salah which prompted the quick floated cross to Andy Robertson and nod back for Darwin Nunez to flick home with a stooping header.
The Reds fans amassed behind the goal where Nunez celebrated joyously at the corner flag, had a new striking hero to acclaim – and another young midfielder to look forward to seeing much more of.
But Carvalho’s excellence will hurt Whites fans, who have been deprived the opportunity to see the young star in action for their team in the Premier League, having played his part in last season’s promotion for the Cottagers.
How they could do with him this season. And as if to rub it in, Marco Silva’s team begin their latest Premier League challenge next weekend against ….Fabio Carvalho’s new team.
It is all a bit Harvey Elliott – the other teenager who got away before Fulham could even really see him play. Elliott, also on as a sub in the second half, was equally assured – equally promising.
Having recovered from a bad injury, he looks ready to go again and Liverpool have two great ex-Fulham talents in the ranks. Elliott too is barely out of his teens, both seemingly have the football world at their feet.
Collecting a trophy, having a medal around his neck - it could all become addictive for Carvalho, who made the most of the post-match party in front of the Anfield faithful, who he will surely impress in the months ahead.