Liverpool look in need of a rebuild this summer and Jurgen Klopp has plenty to think about when it comes to incomings and outgoings.
There are a number of high-profile players set to leave the club when their contracts expire in a couple of months, which should alleviate the wage bill when it comes to adding new signings in the summer. We’ve taken a closer look at the five players set to depart Anfield in six months time.
Note: this only includes the players permanently contracted at Liverpool, and not loanee Arthur Melo. We suspect that the Brazilian probably won’t be getting signed permanently following his stint from parent club Juventus, having played just 13 minutes for the Reds this season.
With the brilliant young Caoimhin Kelleher firmly established as Alisson’s backup, there doesn’t seem a great deal of use in keeping Adrian around. The 36-year-old Spaniard has barely featured in the last couple of seasons, but at least he’ll always have the memories of the 2019 Super Cup.
Of course Jurgen Klopp has gone full Rocky Balboa on us 😂
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) August 14, 2019
Firmino has been a brilliant servant for Liverpool since joining in 2015. He’s scored over 100 goals and no player has made more appearances under Klopp.
The Brazilian was actually one of Liverpool’s best and most in-form players amid their struggles in the opening weeks of the 2022-23 campaign. But he’s 31 now, has struggled with injuries, and it’s difficult to envisage a place for him in the team when Cody Gakpo, Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez, Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota are all fit.
But he showed he’s still a very useful player on his day by coming on and scoring the equaliser in that breathless 2-2 draw with Arsenal – his 11th goal against the Gunners.
“Yes, he told me,” Klopp told reporters, confirming Firmino’s plans to leave in search of a new challenge in the summer.
“Surprised? Yes, a little bit, but I was not hit by surprise. Actually, it’s a normal thing to do.
“It could go two ways and it was one. I respect that a lot. It’s completely normal in this kind of long relationship that we have and Bobby has with the club and with most of the players and stuff like this, and with the fans of course.”
The midfielder has certainly had his moments, but it’s been five years at Anfield and in that time Keita has failed to nail down a consistently good run in Klopp’s best XI.
Ultimately, he’s never quite justified his £52million price tag, nor unlocked the world-beater potential he demonstrated at RB Leipzig. You’d be amazed if Liverpool were to extend his contract at this late stage, meaning he’s destined to leave this summer with a ‘what if?’ question mark.
It’s easy to forget that the Guinea international is still just 28. His impact in 2022-23 has been pretty much non-existent, so it will be interesting to see whether he can get back to his best elsewhere.
The decision to keep handing the veteran utility man contract extensions rather than freshen the squad up with fresh blood has drawn ire from certain quarters of the Liverpool fanbase.
Klopp evidently feels the 37-year-old, who has made over 300 appearances and won everything there is to win since joining Liverpool from Man City in 2015, still has something to offer.
The Athletic’s David Ornstein recently reported that Liverpool are “yet to open contract talks” with Milner “despite Jurgen Klopp‘s eagerness to secure the player’s services for another year.”
Milner may feel he has more to give as a top-flight player. It isn’t out of the question he could surpass Gareth Barry as the Premier League’s all-time appearance maker. Perhaps a return to boyhood club Leeds United could be on the cards? Or maybe not if they end up going down.
So often the forgotten man after his years of injury hell, every so often Oxlade-Chamberlain returns to have a run in the team that reminds us all he exists.
It’s a shame the way things have gone for the former England international, because there was a time in which he looked a pivotal part of the project Klopp was building at Anfield, particularly in that run to the Champions League final in 2017-18.
Ultimately it would seem best for all concerned if they let Oxlade Chamberlain go try revive his career at another club. He doesn’t turn 30 until the summer and should still have plenty to offer if he can finally put the injuries behind him. That’s a big if though.