Liam Rosenior tells Hull City 'perfect' signing Fabio Carvalho means nothing without wins on the field

Liam Rosenior says that in Fabio Carvalho he has signed a “perfect 10” ideally suited to Hull City's culture but he was quick to remind the players a good transfer window means nothing unless they are winning games.

The first 10 days of the January window have been good for Hull, adding Carvalho and Billy Sharp, who not only bring proven Championship quality but experience of getting out of the division.

Carvalho has joined on loan from Liverpool after a disappointing first half of the season which saw him limited to just 320 minutes playing for RB Leipzig.

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The 21-year-old has four Premier League starts for Liverpool and one in the Champions League, in a 7-1 win at Rangers. But it is the work that earned his £5m move there which is most significant.

LOAN STAR: Fabio Carvalho poses in black and amber after joining on loan from LiverpoolLOAN STAR: Fabio Carvalho poses in black and amber after joining on loan from Liverpool
LOAN STAR: Fabio Carvalho poses in black and amber after joining on loan from Liverpool

The Portuguese made his name in Fulham's 2021-22 promotion-winning side with 11 goals in 40 league appearances, 36 from the start.

His footballing qualities are well known but Rosenior was keen to get a sense of his character before agreeing to the loan.

“I need players to want to connect with me,” he explained.

“This job is more than football, I don't believe in seeing a player just as an asset, I need to get to know them as a person so when Fabio was telling me how he got to where he got to in his career, it was heart-warming, it made me want to get up and give him a hug.

INJURY BLOW: Hull City striker Liam DelapINJURY BLOW: Hull City striker Liam Delap
INJURY BLOW: Hull City striker Liam Delap
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“I want to connect with my players emotionally. If they’re in the team, out of the team, I care about them, and I think Fabio felt that from me. He knows I'll do everything I can to develop him in the four months we're together to get him to play at the best level he can.

“There are some players I like one day and I want to kick them the next. Liking them is not important but character is really important.

“If I ever had a doubt about any player and their character they wouldn't be here because you have to have a set of values and commit to a certain way of living and working to work here. Fabio fits into that.

“From the first meeting I had with him I knew I wanted him even more having seen him play against teams I've been involved in and watching him at Liverpool. Even some of the stuff at Leipzig was outstanding when you see the clips, he was unfortunate there.

CONNECTIONS: Hull City manager Liam RoseniorCONNECTIONS: Hull City manager Liam Rosenior
CONNECTIONS: Hull City manager Liam Rosenior
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“But when I met him, I thought, 'I'll do everything possible to make him come here.'

“I sat with Fabio for hours and we were looking at our stats as a team, the way we play, our shape, our structure and where he fits and what he needs to improve on to get him to the level he wants to reach.

“The fact he saw all of that and said 'Yeah, I want to be part of that,' was huge credit to not just me but the whole club.”

Although this is only his third transfer window, Rosenior claimed to have knocked back “lots” of potential signings after similar chats.

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“When you meet a player you have to consider whether they fit in and it's not just down to their negatives, it's the culture here. Every single player we sign has to fit into that,” he insisted.

“I've never signed a player I haven't met first. That will continue as long as I'm here.”

Carvalho had his first training session with his new team-mates on Wednesday alongside Tyler Morton, also on loan from Liverpool. Although he has mainly played on the left since leaving Fulham, Rosenior sees him in the “No 10” position in the hole behind the striker.

“He brings a level of quality and consistency, his game intelligence is outstanding and coupled with his technical ability, his ability to see passes and finish actions, he is unselfish, he likes to link with players, he is what a perfect No 10 is for me as a manager,” he said.

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Carvalho has signed in time to make his debut at home to Norwich City on Friday. Rosenior warned his men they will need to be on top of their game, with Hull needing victory to get back into the play-off positions before Sunderland have chance to respond at Ipswich Town.

“We have to stay humble and keep working hard because you win games of football on the football pitch,” he cautioned.

“On Friday we have to go into a very difficult game and if we think because we've signed good players it's just going to happen for us, that's when things will go wrong. Now is where the hard work begins.”

The Tigers expect to be without centre-forward Liam Delap, on loan from Manchester City, until the spring with a knee injury.

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“Liam had an assessment, he's going to need another assessment in three weeks, but we're looking at hopefully two to three months minimum, it's a real shame – for him, for us, for everybody connected with the football because he's been such a bright spot,” said Rosenior. “It hopefully can be fixed without surgery.”

Hull are still looking for a winger and a goalkeeper, with interest in Burnley's Manuel Benson and Fortuna Sittard's Ivor Pandur respectively.

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