While a large majority of Liverpool’s players are away on international duty this week, manager Rafa Benitez is still conducting one of the biggest clear outs Anfield has ever seen. In total now, 18 players have left the club this summer, either on long term loan or permament deals – the latest two being forwards Neil Mellor and Florent Sinama Pongolle.
They follow other names like Morientes, Josemi, Raven, Whitbread, Medjani, Hamann, Cheyrou, Barragan and Traore out of Anfield. While Djibril Cisse, Kirkland, Carson and Le Tallec have been loaned out and Paul Willis, Ramon Calliste, Calum Woods and Robbie Foy have been released. That list could still grow before deadline day with Jan Kromkamp and Salif Diao both available for transfer.
23 year old striker Mellor has joined Preston North End on a three year deal where he will be hoping to put his injury nightmares behind him and show the form which often touted him as a future LFC regular. Prolific in the reserves he has been on the perifery of the first team for 3 years now, supplying memorable moments in the Olympiakos game and with a wonder strike in the dieing minutes against Arsenal in 2003.
Sinama Pongolle, who spent the end of last season on loan to Blackburn, has joined Spanish side Recreativo Huelva on a season long loan deal with an option for another year, which would take him to the end of his Reds contract.
Like Mellor, Pongolle has shown much potential but failed to establish himself firmly in the side, and with the arrivals of Crouch, Bellamy, Fowler and Kuyt he doesn’t figure in Benitez’s plans.