We take a look at the Liverpool players whose futures will be in doubt this summer, some will certainly depart, others will leave if the correct offers come in for them.
A pattern has emerged in the reports on Liverpool’s possible transfer deals; the Reds appear very keen to ensure the mistakes of last summer are not repeated – by getting business done early, and also by having more than one target for each desired position.
Brendan Rodgers has indicated a desire for two strong players in each position within his squad, and also a need to add experienced match winners; players who are capable of making an impression on the first-team and improving the overall strength of the squad.
In order to make the changes he desires, Rodgers will look to reshape his squad by off-loading squad players who do not fit into his long-term plans. There are two categories that the players listed below mostly fit into; one is those players you would deem almost certain to leave and have no future (Wilson, Pacheco, Spearing, even Carroll), and those who, should the right bid come in, will be allowed to leave as they don’t have a long-term future – if not, they could still add some depth to the squad.
Another factor within the Liverpool strategy is the ongoing assessment of the squad in a financial sense; players who are deemed to be on higher wages than they should be, those players signed and given big contracts by previous director of football Damien Comolli. As reported last season, it is currently difficult for Liverpool to justify a wage to a new player or a contract renewal when there are players not involved on vastly higher wage. This is a problem that needs to be eradicated.
Here’s our list of 12 players who we believe are deemed as ‘saleable’ assets by Liverpool this summer.
This needs little explanation; clearly not part of Brendan Rodgers’ plans and definitely set to leave this summer. West Ham and Newcastle are obviously the frontrunners for his signature, with The Hammers having reportedly agreed a £15m deal.
Carroll reportedly is waiting for his hometown club to bid for his return, while Rodgers expects his future to be resolved quickly. Latest reports though suggest no decision will be made for a fortnight while the player is on holiday.
Despite becoming a key part of Rodgers’ side as the season progressed, Downing is certainly viewed as one of the expected departures this summer. He turns 29 this summer and is one of the expensive signings of the failed Dalglish/Comolli transfer era, he is also on what the club view as wages above his value.
Fulham are interested in a loan deal and other teams will no doubt be interested too.
Pepe’s future appears to be largely down to who Barcelona decide they want to sign to replace Victor Valdes. By all accounts, Reina is on their shortlist, along with Borussia Moenchengladbach’s Marc-Andre Ter Stegen. Should Barca bid for Pepe Liverpool are unlikely to stand in his way and the Spaniard himself would seemingly find it an opportunity he could not turn down.
Liverpool have reportedly lined up Stoke’s Asmir Begovic as a replacement for Pepe and such a deal would fit their long-term planning strategy by replacing an ageing player with a younger one on a lower wage.
The Slovakian defender started just two League games since January – Southampton (a) and QPR (h). Despite Rodgers insisting the player is “happy” and has a future at the club, he is another who falls into the ageing, high wage and currently nearing the last opportunity to recoup a good fee.
Liverpool have been strongly linked with Schalke’s Greek defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos who could slot in alongside Daniel Agger, while Kolo Toure would add defensive cover along with youngsters Martin Kelly and Andre Wisdom who can both play centre-back. Such a change would suit the new Liverpool and FSG strategy.
If Coates doesn’t leave Liverpool this summer it will be a big surprise, either on a permanent deal or loan. Another of the failed signings from Damien Comolli who arrived for a large fee but has hardly featured under Rodgers.
Providing Rodgers can bring in two new centre-backs, which seems highly likely, Coates will be allowed to leave.
The England Under 21 international fell out of favour in the second half of last season and with a host of other midfielders and attacking midfielders at Rodgers’ disposal, Shelvey appears to be one who will be allowed to leave should the right bid come in for him. If no permanent deal can’t be found, a loan certainly seems likely.
This may be a shock to some, but whisper it quietly Johnson could be seen as a disposable asset this summer. Liverpool have been linked with Leeds’ Sam Byram and Barcelona’s Martin Montoya. While Johnson is clearly a key, and experienced, member of the squad if the right offer were to arrive it could persuade Liverpool and Rodgers to part with the England full back.
Johnson is 29 at the start of next season, this would be the last opportunity to get ‘good’ money for him. He is also on very high wages. With the possible addition of a young right back, plus the return of Martin Kelly and emergence of Andre Wisdom…
The 19 year old playmaker had an impressive season, breaking into the first-team when squad resources were low and showing some superb promise for the future. After the arrival of Philippe Coutinho in January his opportunities have been more limited and a loan move to a top European club would be hugely beneficial for his development.
There’ll be no Europa League games to play in next season and Olympiakos are reportedly interested in his services – that would be an excellent opportunity for his development. Suso needs something more challenging than the Under 21’s League and with another creative talent expected to arrive this summer, competition in the attacking berths will be high.
Spearing, now 24, has had a productive season on loan at Championship side Bolton, winning the club’s player of the year and starting 36 games. He’s been linked with Newcastle, among others, and for his own development looks pretty certain to depart. A move would be good for the player as he clearly doesn’t fit into the first-team plans and would find it extremely difficult to get into the team, especially if a new midfielder arrives.
The 20 year old full back suffered an injury plagued campaign and is another who falls into the ‘possibly sold, likely loaned’ category – for his own development and future. He is clearly well down the pecking order for right-back, Johnson, Wisdom, Kelly are all ahead of him and some keen observers of the academy believe Ryan McLaughlin is more of a prospect. Very unlikely to make the breakthrough at Anfield.
The Moroccan winger has failed to make an impression since his £2.4m move from Heerenveen last summer, making just six starts in the Cups and none in the Premier League. Assaidi is a player some journalists have suggested was not a Rodgers signing and looks almost certain to depart, possibly in any part exchange deal.
Pacheco is now 22 and has been linked with a move away in almost every transfer window of the last three years. He’s been on loan to Spanish Segunda Division side SC Huesco. He’s scored 3 goals in 16 appearances there and his future is certainly away from Anfield. He has a year remaining on his contract but needs a move to kickstart his development.
The 21 year old centre back’s contract expires this summer and won’t be renewed. He has been on loan at Scottish side Hearts for the latter part of the season and looks almost certain to make the move permanent.
Likelihood: 5/5 – UPDATE Danny Wilson has joined Hearts on a permanent deal.