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Liverpool trio could see loans end in January – but 3 others set to stay

With a month to go until the start of the January transfer window, at least three Liverpool loanees could be in line to either switch clubs or return.

This season, Liverpool have 17 players out on loan in seven different countries, including at clubs in the top flight down to non-league.

Unsurprisingly, then, there have been varying degrees of success for the Reds’ loanees so far, with some taking up key roles and others struggling for game time.

January brings a useful juncture for the club to assess the development of their players on loan, with the majority of deals including a recall option.

That is not the case for Juventus midfielder Arthur, whose time on loan at Liverpool has been curtailed by long-term injury, but at least three players could be recalled.

One of those is Marcelo Pitaluga, the Brazilian goalkeeper thriving at Macclesfield.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, 20 February, 2022: Liverpool’s goalkeeper Marcelo Pitaluga runs out for the second-half during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool FC Under-23’s and Blackburn Rovers FC Under-23’s at the Liverpool Academy. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Pitaluga is enjoying his first season at first-team level, keeping 11 clean sheets in his first 23 games, but is currently sidelined with an ankle ligament injury.

He is undergoing treatment at the AXA Training Centre, and according to the Press Association’s Carl Markham, there is a “good chance” he is recalled before being sent out to a level higher than non-league.

Macclesfield have already signed a likely replacement, with Wyll Stanway joining the club on loan from Chester.

While Pitaluga could be brought back after potentially exceeding the level he is currently playing at, two others may return having struggled for minutes.

Young forward Max Woltman is spending the season with Doncaster Rovers in League Two, but after a change of managers, he has played just 47 minutes of a possible six games.

In total, Woltman has made nine appearances for Rovers, of which only one has been as a starter, and Doncaster Free Press correspondent Steve Jones has told This Is Anfield he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the deal was terminated early.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, November 25, 2020: Liverpool's substitute Billy Koumetio during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Liverpool FC and Atalanta BC at Anfield. Atalanta won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Similar could be said of Billy Koumetio, who has not played in the league for Austria Wien in almost two months, starting seven of 11 appearances in total.

Instead, the Frenchman has been a regular for the Vienna club’s reserve side, who play in the second tier of Austrian football, with it highly unlikely Liverpool will be happy for him to spend the entire season there.

Both Woltman and Koumetio could resume duties with the Liverpool under-21s instead, as was the case with Rhys Williams and Leighton Clarkson when they were recalled last January.

That would, in turn, allow other players to head out on loan, with Jarell Quansah and Layton Stewart among those who could benefit from the right move.

2JRCMAN Bolton Wanderers? Conor Bradley in action during the Carabao Cup second round match at the University of Bolton Stadium, Bolton. Picture date: Tuesday 23rd August, 2022.

Elsewhere, indications are that both Tyler Morton and Conor Bradley will be kept at their current loan clubs, allowing them to build on excellent starts at Blackburn and Bolton respectively.

It has been suggested that Bradley could be diverted to the Championship, with Preston among the sides interested, but Bolton manager Ian Evatt believes both he and Owen Beck will stay for the season.

“All I can say is the messaging we’ve had from Liverpool is really consistent throughout and they want him to be here for the remainder of the season,” Evatt told the Bolton News.

“From what I understand from Conor, he loves this place, he loves being with us and wants to be a part of it for the remainder of the season.”