Liverpool's Nathaniel Phillips during the Premier League match against Crystal Palace. Anfield, May 2021.

Five Liverpool players that could leave in the January transfer window

Many footballers would jump at the opportunity to play for Liverpool and even more would relish the chance the play at a packed Anfield.

But for some players currently at Liverpool, the prospect of more regular first-team football elsewhere is an appealing prospect worth leaving for.

As always, the rumour mill is afoot with some crazy suggestions about January transfers both in and out of Merseyside. But, from fringe squad players to young prospects, here are the five Liverpool players who could leave.

Nat Phillips

After Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip all suffered injuries in 2020-21, Phillips stepped up to the plate and made 20 appearances in all competitions.

To much praise, he formed a hastily put together centre-back partnership with anyone who was fit enough and helped drag Liverpool into the Champions League when it looked unlikely.

The 24-year-old was rewarded with a new contract, which increasingly looks like a decision made on a rush of goodwill that didn’t suit either party as Phillips’ minutes have been limited to barely any this season.

Newcastle appears to be the main suitor if the papers are meant to be believed, where he could become a vital part of a refreshed defence.

“He improved in pretty much everything since, and he’s not playing,” Jurgen Klopp said recently. “Life is sometimes not fair and I can’t blame him.

“We cannot keep him forever, that’s clear. We needed him, just to be safe, for that half-year. We will see what happens in the window. He was fine doing it because he’s a great guy.

“His development is absolutely insane. You saw it last year, you would have said ‘Nat Phillips, oh my god, he plays in the last line?’

“People love him because of his heading but with his feet he is unbelievable. He’s a late starter, but his development is unbelievable. I would sign him for any club except Liverpool, because we have him.”

Liverpool's Nathaniel Phillips

Watch: Nat Phillips fools Kessie and Ibrahimovic with great Cruyff turn

Joe Gomez

Gomez is currently in a tough spot at Liverpool.

Alongside Van Dijk, he formed an at-times impenetrable centre-back duo as Liverpool ended their long wait for a Premier League title in 2019-20.

But he suffered a serious knee injury last year and has struggled to win back his place in the side, making just two substitute appearances in the Premier League in 2021-22 at the time of writing.

Rumours are flying about his next destination. Currently, it looks as if Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard will flex his Liverpool connections to land the English international either on loan or as a permanent transfer, with Newcastle also rumoured to have him on their long wish-list.

Neco Williams

The young right-back has shown glimpses of promise for Liverpool but has understandably struggled for regular game time with Trent Alexander-Arnold occupying his position.

It has prompted Wales manager Robert Page to hint at his desire for Williams to go on loan in search of more first-team football, and he must himself be chomping at the bit to play more ahead of the World Cup play-offs.

The 20-year-old is already a regular for his national side and would likely slot straight in at a Premier League team at the lower end of the table.

If he wants it, Williams will have no lack of suitors for a move but Klopp may wish to keep hold of him anyway, wary of the lack of squad depth that derailed Liverpool’s title defence last season.

“He is pushing for a start, he’s a young player and we are a good football team, it’s not that easy to get into the team,” Klopp said in November. “We have Trent there, [James] Milner has played there incredibly. Neco I saw for Wales and he did really well offensively. He can push.”

Marcelo Pitaluga

Goalkeeper Pitaluga arrived from Fluminense in 2020 on the recommendation of Alisson and Liverpool goalkeeping coach John Achterberg.

The 18-year-old has not yet made a single first-team appearance but is highly rated and there is a potential for him to leave on loan in January if the right club comes in.

“If the right step is there and we feel he is ready, then we discuss it and make the decision,” goalkeeping coach John Achterberg told the Liverpool Echo in October. “We’re always looking at it.

“If he plays for the reserves this weekend, or maybe something happens in January. We don’t know. We try to get him as many games every week to keep improving and we’ll take it from there.”

READ: Everything you need to know about Liverpool-bound Marcelo Pitaluga

Loris Karius

Completely forget that Champions League final for a moment, because if Karius is to have a future career so must he.

He is only 28 years old and as a goalkeeper, that means he still has a long career ahead of him. His Liverpool contract expires at the end of the season, but him sitting fourth or fifth in the pecking order at Anfield helps nobody and the club may let him leave early if a suitable candidate comes in.

The shot-stopper had a decent time at Besiktas for almost two years until contract disputes severed the relationship before a return to Germany with Union Berlin proved fruitless.

But there is still a good goalkeeper in there and a team that takes a chance could really benefit from it.

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