LONDON, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 19, 2022: Liverpool's Jade Bailey during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Women's League Cup Quarter-Final match between Tottenham Hotspur FC Women and Liverpool FC Liverpool Academy. Tottenham Hotspur won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool confirm Women’s quintet to depart after title-winning season

Liverpool have confirmed the departures of five players from their title-winning women’s side, ahead of their return to the Women’s Super League next season.

Matt Beard’s Reds won the Women’s Championship in April, clinching the title with a 4-2 victory over Bristol City to book their return to the top flight.

It comes two seasons after their relegation, with Beard returning to the club in 2021 and presiding over a series of changes to the squad, with nine new players brought in.

That has allowed a strong core to form and, inevitably, there are more alterations to come as Liverpool prepare for a big step up.

Tuesday saw the club confirm the departures of five players, including regular squad members Charlotte Wardlaw and Jade Bailey.

BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 24, 2022: Liverpool's captain Niamh Fahey lifts the Championship trophy after the FA Women’s Championship Round 21 match between Liverpool FC Women and Sheffield United FC Women at Prenton Park. (Pic by Lindsey Parneby/Propaganda)

Meikayla Moore, Rianna Dean and academy graduate Evie Smith have also departed on the expiry of their contracts.

Wardlaw leaves after a promising loan move from Chelsea, though it remains to be seen whether a permanent deal could still be brokered between the two clubs.

Bailey spent three seasons with Liverpool upon her arrival from Chelsea in 2019, while Dean spent a single campaign on Merseyside after joining from Tottenham.

After parading the Women’s Championship title around Anfield at half-time in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham, Beard and his players have embarked on a well-deserved break.

The preparations for 2022/23 are already underway, though, with BBC Sport’s Emma Sanders reporting that goalkeeper Eartha Cumings is being considered as a summer target.

Rachael Laws is likely to remain No. 1, however, having kept a record 13 league clean sheets in just 19 games this season.