Eleven players who could leave Anfield in summer
It is quite surprising to see that Liverpool have fallen off from their dizzy heights this season. Jurgen Klopp’s side have set high standards for themselves in recent years, but the Reds have badly struggled to recapture their best form in 2022-23, and now they are in serious danger of missing out on the top-four spot.
Irrespective of where they finish, it’s imperative that the squad needs reinforcement, and Klopp needs to make the necessary cull. There have been suggestions that he might have been too loyal with some of his players, but it’s time for him to show his ruthless side.
Here we take a look at 11 players who could depart in the summer.
The obvious ones
Roberto Firmino will be leaving the club at the end of the season, and the news has surprised Klopp and the fan base. The Brazilian is a cult-hero at the club, and he will be badly missed, just like Sadio Mane. The 31-year-old has scored 10 goals and provided five assists in all competitions this season, and he will be leaving the club as a free agent. It will be an emotional farewell, that’s a guarantee.
Midfield duo – Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – are set to leave as well following the expiry of their contracts. Both these players have only shown in flashes, and their time at the club has been blighted by injuries. Keita, especially, is a huge disappointment. Liverpool paid £48m to sign him back in 2018, which was the club record deal back then, but he has failed to justify his price tag.
Arthur Melo will head back to Juventus without making any contribution. He joined the Reds on loan, but picked up a thigh injury immediately.
Veteran goalkeeper, Adrian, has been cheerleading for the club on social media these days. After four seasons at the club, and now way down the pecking order, he is dead-cert to leave.
James Milner, 37, is approaching the fag end of his career if not already, and Klopp needs to decide whether it would make sense to offer him another contract extension. Milner can still be a handy option and an influential player (read as leadership qualities) in the dressing room as well but probably it’s time for him to make room for others.
Likewise, Klopp needs to make a bold decision on Fabinho as well. The 29-year-old Brazilian has been below par this season and could lose his place to Stefan Bajcetic in midfield in the long run. Probably it’s the right time for the Reds to cash in on him and reinvest the money on a young defensive midfielder.
Curtis Jones is an interesting case. He was seen as an in-house perfect replacement for Gini Wijnaldum, but he has somehow failed to live up to expectations. The injuries did play a part, and Klopp could look to send him away on loan as he needs to play regularly.
Ideally, Liverpool should keep hold of Caoimhin Kelleher. He has proved to be a reliable shot-stopper for the club, but at 24, he aims to play regularly. He is a bankable asset and his exit could be on the cards.
Joel Matip has been a terrific servant for the club. The 31-year-old is in his seventh season at Anfield and he is someone Klopp trusts. He is one of the club’s best-ever free transfer additions, but with one year remaining on his deal, the club must let him go. He has had a nightmarish time on the pitch this term and looks like a player who won’t be able to recapture his old form anymore.
Likewise, Klopp must wield his axe on Nathaniel Phillips. He should be playing regularly in the Premier League and doesn’t deserve to warm the bench.
Guest blog from Sports Buffer