With 13 players out on loan across the English leagues and in Europe, we assess which of Liverpool’s loanees can return to an Anfield future.
As Jurgen Klopp formulates squad plans for next season, the German will have an eye on those playing their trade away from Anfield.
Likewise, the borrowed men will have their hopes set on returning to Merseyside to enjoy a role in Klopp’s exciting future, but with a summer rebuild and a potential change of loan policy to come, places in the squad will be at a premium.
So who of the Reds’ loaned men can return to feature under Klopp’s stewardship and what does the future hold for each?
It’s been a campaign of mixed fortunes for Markovic at Fenerbahce, where his pace and directness – when injury free – has frightened Turkish defences and impressed so much Fener have made no secret of their desire to sign him permanently.
Advances for a permanent deal have been rightly been blocked, with the blistering speed and width the Serbian is able to provide offering a much needed dimension to the attack next season – as Klopp recognises by handing him the chance to resurrect his Reds career.
Discussing Balotelli’s Reds future borders on pointless with finding a move for the Italy striker arguably the biggest summer challenge for the club – a switch to China looks the best bet.
Though injured for a large period of his San Siro return, the 25-year-old has failed to produce anything that could convince Klopp to keep him around, and being completely at odds to the high-intensity game and team togetherness wanted, moving Balotelli on is a real priority.
The Spaniard has enjoyed a hugely positive campaign at Deportivo La Coruna, becoming a key man at the Raizor where he has scored six times and posted the same amount of assists in 19 starts for Victor Sanchez’s side.
Alberto has undeniable talent, and his intelligence, technical skill and suitability to a pressing game should see Klopp hand him the chance he is yet to have been afforded since his £7million move in 2013, to prove he can force his way past stiff competition to have an Anfield future.
Though not helped by derailing injuries, Wisdom has struggled to establish himself even when fit at Norwich this season, making only 11 appearances so far in a second Premier League loan that has proved as unproductive as his West Brom spell last year.
A strong and quick defender able to cover wide and centrally, impending defensive reinforcements as well as Jon Flanagan’s new contract and the return of Joe Gomez to come, make it hard to see where he fits in and now seems the right time to move him on permanently despite signing a long-term deal last summer.
The first permanent signing of Klopp’s Anfield tenure, this one is not even a debate with Grujic a signing with both the present and future in mind.
Expectation is high that his power, athleticism and technique allow him to play a part on arrival next season, and having helped Red Star Belgrade romp to an imminent league title win, he will bring a welcome winning mentality, making his arrival something exciting to look forward to.
The 18-year-old has enjoyed a hugely promising first season of regular first team football at Brentford, impressing with his work-rate, enthusiasm and skill, helping him to score four goals and post three assists in 30 Championship games.
To have performed so well in a tough but ever-improving in quality division at such a young age shows Canos’ potential, and though next season is too early for him to feature at Anfield, he is certainly one for the future with another loan move beneficial to continuing his swift development.
Verdict: Loan again
A first full season in professional football has been a productive one for the U21 ‘keeper, who has established himself as No.1 at Swindon making 36 appearances at the County Ground.
But with potential goalkeeping reinforcements to come and options such as Danny Ward ahead of him in the pecking order, it’s hard to see a future on Merseyside for the 23-year-old, making a rumoured permanent switch to the Robins the most logical move.
It’s been a difficult campaign for Jones at Blackpool, having his loan interrupted by a nasty injury, but one in which he’s impressed when featured at Blackpool. Having had his progression stunted this year another loan or even a return to the Under-21s to resume progress seems best.
Having said that, it’s difficult to ever see him making the breakthrough at Anfield and a career in the Football League seems most likely so if a buyer is out there it would be best for club and player.
Verdict: Return to Under-21s/ Loan / Sell
This season has been one to forget for Williams with injury running what was shaping into a promising campaign at Swindon, and his concentration must remain on getting fit again before regrouping and heading out on loan for a hopefully better spell of game time.
Verdict: Loan again
In his first professional action Fulton has earned rave reviews at Portsmouth, with local media tipping the ‘keeper to reach the top, and being one very much for the future. Another loan to continue his development would be a good move for all parties with him not yet ready to fight for a first team place. A step up from League Two would be good progress.
Verdict: Loan again, League One side
Allan Rodrigues De Souza
Klopp has taken no time in hailing the talent of the Brazilian – although that could be part of the attempts to attain a work permit. Allan became a title winner with Finnish side SJK before heading to Sint Truidense in January. A move to another foreign country where he will get a work permit, at a higher level of football, would be the next step. FC Mainz have been rumoured.
Verdict: Loan again (in order to attain work permit)
Having been sent to Frankfurt FSV immediately after signing for the Reds, Awoniyi is something of an unknown quantity. Though he has enjoyed better fortunes as the season has progressed – showing some of his raw ability which may catch Klopp’s eye – he is not ready for a first team role, with another educational season needed.
Verdict: Loan again
The striker’s season-long loan at Swiss club Luzern has been a disappointment making only nine appearances – scoring one goal – and failing to command a place in Markus Babbel’s struggling team – telling Klopp all he needs to know about Yesil’s suitability to remain at Anfield.
Four years after joining Liverpool the German is still no closer to a first team breakthrough and a recently rumoured move to Trabzonszpor is one he should pursue.