Liverpool’s Loanees 2016/17: Ranked from Best to Worst

With the season now done and dusted for Liverpool’s loanees, we rank the success of the borrowed Reds’ temporary moves away from Anfield.

It was a campaign of typically mixed success for the Reds who spent the year plying their trade away from Anfield.

Some enjoyed the action-filled, educational spells Jurgen Klopp will have envisaged upon sanctioning the moves, but for others it proved a frustrating season on unfamiliar territory.

Here are Liverpool’s 2016/17 loanees ranked from the most to least successful.


1. Danny Ward – Huddersfield Town

Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner and goalkeeper Danny Ward after the game

As loan moves go, Ward’s at Huddersfield was as close to perfect as you’ll find—to the point the Welshman himself could hardly have envisaged such a successful time unfolding.

The ‘keeper instantly commanded the No.1 spot and impressed all season long for David Wagner’s side, developing as Klopp will have wanted and playing 46 games.

Ward enjoyed the dream finish by helping the Terriers to promotion to the Premier League, shining in the play-offs by making himself a hero in successive penalty shoot-outs and saving the crucial spot-kick at Wembley.

Promotion capped a fantastic loan which primes Ward nicely for his Anfield return.


2. Andre Wisdom – Red Bull Salzburg

There was real scepticism over how Wisdom’s surprise move to Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg would play out.

It initially seemed it would be as disappointing as his poor domestic loans, but a brilliant second half of the campaign ensured the switch paid off handsomely with silverware to show.

From his favoured centre-back role, Wisdom played a key part in helping Salzburg storm to a fourth straight title—and he could still complete an historic double with Austrian Cup glory.

The fact manager Oscar Garcia wants Wisdom again next season shows his success.


3. Mamadou Sakho – Crystal Palace

Sakho may only have played eight games after joining the Eagles in January, but his brief time at Selhurst Park was undeniably a roaring success.

Once the Frenchman cemented his starting place he shone as the leader of Sam Allardyce’s defence—with his form key to Palace securing safety and remarkably earning him a Player of the Year nomination.

An early end to the season through injury was the only negative of a hugely successful spell, which Palace, unsurprisingly, want to make permanent.


4. Ryan Kent – Barnsley

WIGAN, ENGLAND - Sunday, July 17, 2016: Liverpool's Ryan Kent in action against Wigan Athletic during a pre-season friendly match at the DW Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Kent’s switch to Barnsley was one of the most eagerly followed with the youngster earmarked for an Anfield future.

The move to Oakwell proved a good one overall for the winger, who enjoyed consistent game time and showed his quality playing from his natural wide-left position.

With only three goals and assists from 47 games, more eye-catching numbers to match his impressive performance would have been ideal, but Kent’s spell was certainly positive nonetheless.


5. Pedro Chirivella – Go Ahead Eagles

Suffering relegation would hardly suggest a productive spell, but Chirivella’s time with the Eredivise’s bottom club proved surprisingly positive.

The Spaniard became a key player as he played all but five minutes in 17 games, and considering his team’s struggles, his form remained impressively consistent as he claimed two goals and assists.

An unsuccessful relegation battle will also have provided an educational experience for Chirivella, and should make him more determined to succeed at Anfield.


6. Lazar Markovic – Hull City (and Sporting CP)

SANTA CLARA, USA - Saturday, July 30, 2016: Liverpool's Lazar Markovic in action against AC Milan during the International Champions Cup 2016 game on day ten of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Levi's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Markovic was one of two Reds to embark on two loan moves, and they proved completely contrasting spells.

His opening spell at Sporting was a nightmare, but Markovic impressively put that behind him to enjoy a bright spell at Hull in the second half of the season—despite suffering injury and relegation.

Markovic enjoyed regular action and he produced some impressive form under Marco Silva’s guidance – scoring two Premier League goals in 14 games before injury unfortunately ended the spell early.


7. Taiwo Awoniyi – NEC Nijmegen

Awoniyi’s second season in Europe was an improvement on his first – despite the youngster joining Chirivella in being relegated from the Eredivisie at NEC Nijmegen.

Though not without frustration—with the Nigerian benched for extended periods, contributing to him going goalless for seven months—his improved goal return with four strikes was positive.

A three-goal hot-streak in pressure games at the end of the season was impressive despite not proving enough to keep his side in the top flight, and it at least shows progress going into next season.


8. Adam Bogdan – Wigan Athletic

Surplus to requirements at Anfield, moving to the Championship with Wigan seemed an ideal move for Bogdan.

It would have proved the case had an ACL injury suffered in November not ended what was shaping into a decent spell for the Hungary international.

Bogdan had established himself as No.1 at the DW Stadium and his form was largely solid—one comical howler aside.


9. Sam Hart – Port Vale

MAINZ, GERMANY - Sunday, August 7, 2016: Liverpool's Sam Hart in action against FSV Mainz 05 during a pre-season friendly match at the Opel Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

None of the Reds’ lower league loanees enjoyed particularly rewarding spells, but Hart’s brief time at Port Vale was the brightest.

The left-back played 24 times, mostly in unnatural wide midfield roles, but despite this his form was promising as he netted his first professional goal against Bolton and posted an assist.

That Hart was allowed to return to Anfield just six months into a season-long loan given his promise was a slight surprise.


10. Ryan Fulton – Chesterfield

The season was full of promise for Fulton as he made the step up to League One, but it proved a difficult campaign for the youngster at relegated Chesterfield.

Fulton played 29 games as he established himself as No. 1, but uninspiring form saw him dropped to the bench in February, and that’s where he spent the remainder of his spell as his side finished second-bottom.

A season which ended in demotion and among the subs may not have been the most rewarding, but Fulton will benefit from the experience.


11. Jack Dunn – Tranmere Rovers (and Morecambe)

Dunn was the second Red to have two separate spells this season, but unlike Markovic, both of the striker’s moves proved underwhelming.

The second spell at Tranmere Rovers was unfortunately disrupted by injury, denying Dunn the chance to show his quality as his side battled for promotion.

But the early end of his time at Morecambe was particularly disappointing—especially with the youngster having impressed with six goals and three assists in 19 games.


12. Cameron Brannagan – Fleetwood Town

LONDON, ENGLAND - Friday, August 26, 2016: Liverpool's Cameron Brannagan in action against Arsenal during the FA Premier League 2 Under-23 match at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Almost all lower league loans proved disappointing, but none more so than Brannagan’s spell with League One Fleetwood.

Hopes were high for the midfielder’s move to Highbury but he struggled for game time playing only 14 times—making just five starts—and his only highlight was claiming an assist with a corner.


13. Allan Rodrigues – Hertha Berlin

The aspirations were for a positive campaign of big development for Liverpool’s youngest Brazilian, but it ultimately proved an underwhelming season.

Allan’s struggles for match action, with only 16 outings, and his quiet form in them with no goals or assists, made for a disappointing spell with the Bundesliga team.

Having already agreed to extend his stay with Hertha for a second season, Allan will certainly need to produce better for a more rewarding follow-up campaign.


14. Lloyd Jones – Swindon Town

A full season in League One offered Jones the ideal step to continue his development, but he failed to take the opportunity.

Jones struggled for form despite enjoying regular match action until March, when the centre-back then saw his game time dry up for an off-pitch incident.

The unprofessional ending was a real disappointment with Jones unable to help Swindon’s failed fight against relegation, and it sums up another poor Football League spell.


15. Jon Flanagan – Burnley

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 20, 2016: John Flanagan arrives ahead of Liverpools game against Burnley in the FA Premier League match at Turf Moore. (Pic by Gavin Trafford/Propaganda)

It’s extremely disappointing that this is the case but Flanagan’s loan at Burnley was undoubtedly the worst of all.

The full-back played the least amount of action of all Reds: just 10 per cent of the Clarets’ Premier League minutes as he made only 10 appearances in all competitions.

And with his form poor in the majority of those—bright displays against Man United and Crystal Palace aside—it made for a terrible spell for Flanagan who would have been better off staying at Anfield.


N/A. Brooks Lennon – Real Salt Lake

Lennon’s spell with Real Salt Lake is still in play with the MLS season underway.

Signs are promising that it will prove to be a rewarding spell, with Lennon having played eight of nine games he’s been available for, in which he scored one goal.

He has been operating from a wide forward role in a 4-3-3, and has already earned plenty of rave reviews for his bright displays.

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