The 17 Liverpool players who left the club last summer – and what happened next

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Liverpool saw 17 players depart the club last summer, with five staying in the Premier League and four leaving England, with mixed fortunes for those who left Anfield so far.

The Reds sanctioned a host of sales in the last transfer window, with a number of the title-winning squad moving on to pastures new and funds raised to bring in new recruits.

Others departed on the expiry of their contracts, with opportunities scarce on Merseyside and a move required to revive their hopes.

Of the 17 to leave, 16 have found new clubs, and many find themselves in a better position than they were while at Liverpool.

Here’s where each player has ended up, and how the campaign is going so far.

 

Rhian Brewster (Sheffield United)

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 29, 2020: Sheffield United's Rhian Brewster during the FA Premier League match between Burnley FC and Sheffield United FC at Turf Moor. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The big hope; it has been a hopeless season for Brewster at Bramall Lane so far, with there being few worse clubs for the young striker to have made the permanent jump to from Liverpool.

Sheffield United made a big show of faith in the 20-year-old with a club-record £23.5 million deal, with a three-year buyback clause included in the package that would allow the Reds to trigger his return to Anfield if he progressed as expected.

Unfortunately, Brewster’s start to life in Sheffield has been a nightmare, with the Blades picking up just two points from their first 17 league games, failing to win even once and scoring just eight goals.

Brewster is yet to find the back of the net, having started six of his 13 appearances so far, and with Chris Wilder expressing the desire to bring in another striker, United’s No. 24 may be regretting the decision to leave Merseyside.

 

Dejan Lovren (Zenit St Petersburg)

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 23, 2019: Liverpool's Dejan Lovren celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After six years with Liverpool, and just 15 appearances in his final season on Merseyside, Lovren opted to join Russian champions Zenit in a £10.9 million deal in July.

The centre-back went straight into the side in Saint Petersburg, and just over a week after his move he was lifting the Russian Super Cup – the equivalent of the Community Shield – before assuming a first-choice role in 2020/21.

With the campaign on a break until the end of February, Zenit sit top of the league and four points clear of CSKA Moscow, with Lovren captaining the side in five of their last nine games in all competitions.

The decision to allow Lovren to leave without a replacement being brought in is arguably now damaging Liverpool, but it remains a move that was necessary for the Croatian.

 

Adam Lallana (Brighton)

Like Lovren, Lallana felt he had more to offer in his early 30s than the bit-part role in store at Anfield, and having run his contract down the midfielder joined Brighton on a free transfer.

A leader and a go-to starter at Brighton, Lallana has remained unfortunate with injuries, including a flare-up of a groin injury just eight minutes into the 1-1 draw between his current and former clubs back in November.

The Englishman is being given the game time he craved on the south coast, however, and his versatility is invaluable to Graham Potter, who has started the ex-Red in deeper and more advanced midfield roles, as well as up front in the 2-1 loss to Tottenham.

 

Nathaniel Clyne (Crystal Palace)

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 19, 2020: Crystal Palace's Nathaniel Clyne looks dejected during the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace FC and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Also departing on a free transfer last summer was Clyne, who had played just 10 times in his final three seasons with Liverpool, ending the title-winning campaign exiled and training alone, using the academy facilities.

A clean break was essential to revitalise a flagging career, and Palace offered the right-back an opportunity for Clyne to return to his hometown club – signing a short-term deal in October.

Since then, he has been a regular starter, and though more recently he has found himself in a battle for the starting shirt with Joel Ward, it is likely that he has earned an extension beyond the initial expiry of his contract on February 1.

 

Ki-Jana Hoever (Wolves)

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Monday, January 7, 2019: Liverpool's substitute Ki-Jana Hoever on the bench before the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

One of the surprise sales of the summer came with Hoever’s £13.5 million switch to Wolves – which effectively covered some of the cost of Diogo Jota‘s move in the opposite direction.

Widely considered one of the most promising talents in the Liverpool academy, Hoever had already played four times for the first team and looked set for a summer loan ahead of a long-term role under Jurgen Klopp – before uprooting to Molineux instead.

Wolves also signed Nelson Semedo from Barcelona, which has limited the 18-year-old’s game time, but he has been a near-everpresent in Nuno Espirito Santo’s squad and made an eye-catching first league start in the 1-0 loss to Man United in December.

Hoever could become a useful player for Wolves as he develops, and it remains unclear as to why his exit was sanctioned despite the fee offsetting Jota’s arrival.

 

Pedro Chirivella (Nantes)

Liverpool offered Chirivella a new long-term contract as the final months of his existing deal ran down last season, but the Spaniard opted to turned down the club he had spent the last seven years with and move on.

A switch to Nantes, in Ligue 1, presented itself, and Chirivella was a first-choice starter under Christian Gourcuff, prior to the Frenchman’s sacking at the start of December.

Strangely, though, Ouest-France journalist Jean-Marcel Boudard claimed on the Sans Controle podcast that Gourcuff had told him the midfielder was “completely lost on the pitch,” amid questions over his form.

Boxing Day saw ex-France manager Raymond Domenech take over Nantes for his first job since 2010, and it remains to be seen where Chirivella features in his long-term plans.

 

Andy Lonergan (Stoke)

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 23, 2020: Stoke City's goalkeeper Andy Lonergan during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Stoke City FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at the Bet365 Stadium. Tottenham won 3-1. (Pic by Propaganda)

It seemed that likely, and sensible, that Lonergan would be offered another one-year contract with Liverpool after his surprise role in the successful season last time out.

But instead the veteran goalkeeper left the club in July to little fanfare, and remained a free agent for five months before signing a short-term deal with Stoke.

Joining as an emergency backup, Lonergan has played just once for the Potters, in a 3-1 loss to Spurs in the League Cup quarter-finals – though that is still one more appearance than he was afforded while at Liverpool.

 

Ovie Ejaria (Reading)

Ovie Ejaria, Reading (Mike Egerton/PA Archive/PA Images)

Ejaria was, for all intents and purposes, already a Reading player last season, with Liverpool having agreed a loan-to-buy deal that saw the midfielder make 39 appearances for the Championship club in 2019/20.

There was uncertainty over whether Reading would be able to afford the £3.5 million fee negotiated with the Reds following the COVID-19 pandemic, but Ejaria eventually made the permanent switch to the Madejski Stadium at the end of August.

The 23-year-old has proved indispensable under new manager Veljko Paunovic, largely operating on the left wing in a 4-2-3-1 system as the Royals push for promotion to the Premier League.

 

Herbie Kane & Isaac Christie-Davies (Barnsley)

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Friday, September 20, 2019: Liverpool's Herbie Kane during the Under-23 FA Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Leicester City FC and Liverpool FC at Holmes Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Christie-Davies joined Barnsley on a free transfer in September, with Kane following his former Liverpool academy team-mate a month later, but neither player is yet to command a first-choice starting role.

In fact, Christie-Davies is yet to feature for the Tykes, while the more experienced Kane has made 16 appearances but only four of those have come as a starter.

The arrival of a new manager, Valerien Ismael, a week after Kane’s £1.25 move to Oakwell has seemingly complicated matters, and it will be interesting to see if either Kane or Christie-Davies moves on again in the near future.

 

And the rest

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 9, 2017: Liverpool's goalkeeper Daniel Atherton during an Under-18 FA Premier League match between Stoke City and Liverpool at the Clayton Wood Training Ground. (Pic by Laura Malkin/Propaganda)

Liverpool also released a host of young players last summer, and the majority of those have now found new clubs.

Goalkeepers Shamal George and Kai McKenzie-Lyle have joined Colchester United and Cambridge United respectively, though neither is a regular starter, while fellow stopper Dan Atherton is yet to permanently sign a deal with any club.

Niall Brookwell has been a staple for the Newcastle under-23s in Premier League 2 and Dal Varesanovic rejoined boyhood club FK Sarajevo but is yet to make the matchday squad.

Lesser-spotted duo Alex Turner (Runcorn Linnets) and Abel Rodriques (US Lusitanos) have also settled elsewhere.

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