Liverpool sent 19 players out on loan in 2022/23, with 20 different clubs involved. But how did they perform? Who succeeded and who struggled?
It was a busy season for Liverpool’s loan pathways team, with a 19 youngsters and fringe players sent out to gain experience elsewhere.
Some left with hopes of cementing their long-term futures at Anfield by taking the next step into senior football, while others will have looked to put themselves in the shop window.
There were, as expected, mixed fortunes, with eight deals cancelled early and two others brought to a premature end by injury.
But there were many who thrived, with some lifting silverware during their time away from Liverpool.
Here, we’ve ranked every loan from the 2022/23 season, from worst to best.
N/A – Paul Glatzel (Tranmere)
It would be unfair to rank Glatzel’s follow-up season at Tranmere, with another serious injury minutes into his comeback ruling him out for the entire campaign.
18. Owen Beck (Famalicao, Bolton)
There were high hopes when Beck headed to the Portuguese top flight with Famalicao, after a standout academy season.
But it quickly went downhill and weeks later he pivoted to Bolton, where his lack of fitness saw him play nine times before the deal was cancelled.
17. Jakub Ojrzynski (Radomiak Radom)
A strange loan with little hope of taking up the No. 1 role, Ojryznski made three appearances for the Polish club before returning to Liverpool in January.
16. Sepp van den Berg (Schalke)
Arrived as a first-choice starter, picked up a serious ankle injury in October, scored on his return six months later but then suffered relegation.
15. Max Woltman (Doncaster)
A move to League Two came too soon for Woltman, who found himself at odds physically and, after starting three of his 14 games with no goal return, his loan was terminated.
14. Vitezslav Jaros (Stockport)
Jaros joined Stockport with high hopes and began well, keeping seven clean sheets in 13 games including against Leicester in the Carabao Cup.
Then injury struck, Ben Hinchliffe emerged as a hero in his absence and the 21-year-old warmed the bench for the remainder.
13. Billy Koumetio (Austria Wien)
Red tape played its part in Koumetio’s failure in Vienna, but there were concerns over the Frenchman’s form too, with the deal cut short after 11 appearances.
12. Fidel O’Rourke (Caernarfon Town, Halifax Town)
O’Rourke made a positive impact upon his switch to Welsh side Caernarfon Town, but was then shifted to Halifax Town in January and, though they won the FA Trophy, he barely featured.
11. Jack Bearne (Kidderminster Harriers)
Another loanee whose side enjoyed success without playing a major role, Bearne showed an eye for goal early on but was soon pushed into the periphery as Kidderminster earned promotion to the National League.
10. Anderson Arroyo (Alaves)
Sneaking into our top 10 is a player who can only be considered Liverpool’s by the terms of his contract, with Arroyo having spent the entirely of his five years ‘on Merseyside’ out on loan.
His latest stint comes with Alaves in the Spanish second tier, where he has been a squad player in various defensive roles as his side reached the promotion playoff final.
9. Rhys Williams (Blackpool)
Another whose loan was terminated mid-season, Williams still accrued valuable experience as part of the Blackpool defence, though there were question marks over his form.
Brought back to Liverpool in January, he instead filled in during training sessions and three times on the bench while Nat Phillips missed out.
8. Adam Lewis (Newport County)
Like Williams, Lewis’ deal ended early, but the left-back’s time at Newport County came to a cruel conclusion as a hamstring injury saw his season end in February.
Before that, the 23-year-old had carved out a key role with the League Two club – and may be hoping to have earned a move with his Liverpool contract set to expire.
7. James Balagizi (Crawley)
Injury also saw Balagizi’s spell at Crawley come to an abrupt end, with the attacking midfielder’s promising form curtailed by two long-term issues.
Nevertheless, he caught the eye in a number of roles – including as a No. 6 – under a number of managers, most notably scoring in a win over Fulham in the Carabao Cup.
6. Marcelo Pitaluga (Macclesfield)
It was the story of Liverpool’s season, really, with injury after injury impacting both the first team and the club’s loanees.
Pitaluga was able to return from ankle ligament damage to cap a title-winning campaign with Macclesfield in April, though, having kept 12 clean sheets in 24 games, conceding just 17 times.
5. Jarell Quansah (Bristol Rovers)
Taking a place in the top five is centre-back Quansah, who only joined Bristol Rovers in January but cemented himself as a first-choice starter under Joey Barton.
His time at the Memorial Stadium was not without controversy, as he picked up a three-match suspension after being sent off for a headbutt in a 2-0 loss to Portsmouth, but the 20-year-old also made big progress on the pitch.
Quansah was able to adapt to both three- and four-man defences, and stepped up as an organisational presence alongside more senior team-mates.
4. Luke Chambers (Kilmarnock)
Another who left on loan in January, and perhaps the first who has an immediate chance of emerging as a first-team option under Jurgen Klopp, Chambers impressed across 16 games at Kilmarnock.
The 18-year-old assisted the winner on his debut and showed his versatility as he operated at left-back, left wing-back and even as a centre-back.
Klopp has already namechecked Chambers among those who could come into his plans for next season, but a full season out on loan may aid his development.
3. Tyler Morton (Blackburn)
There are mixed feelings around Morton’s time at Blackburn, as though he picked up the game time with 35 starts in 46 games, sections of their support questioned his form.
So much so that director of football Gregg Broughton was forced to deny theories that Morton was only picked ahead of the likes of John Buckley and Adam Wharton due to the terms of the club’s deal with Liverpool.
It would be wrong to consider his time at Ewood Park as anything other than a success, though, and the 20-year-old is clearly prominent in Klopp’s long-term plans.
2. Leighton Clarkson (Aberdeen)
There were no such misgivings at Aberdeen, as Clarkson put a disappointing spell of his own at Blackburn behind him and cemented himself as a star player in Scotland.
The 21-year-old suffered through a difficult middle of the season along with his team-mates, and emerged as a regular source of goals and assists as the Dons finished third in the Premiership.
Clarkson’s ability from set-pieces grabbed headlines, but his linkup play was what kept Aberdeen ticking – and has now sealed a permanent deal.
1. Conor Bradley (Bolton)
In seasons to come, Bradley’s time at Bolton will be held up as the model for Liverpool’s loan pathways setup – a bona fide success.
The 19-year-old clocked more minutes for club and country throughout the season than any other teenager in world football, which included 53 appearances for his loan side.
He scored seven goals and laid on six assists as he excelled as the right wing-back in Ian Evatt’s 3-4-1-2 system, helping Bolton win the Papa John’s Trophy and make the League One playoffs.
There was a sense, midway through the season, that Bradley had already outgrown Bolton, but he stayed for the rest of the campaign and can now set his sights much higher.
Bradley could perhaps even force his way ahead of Calvin Ramsay and into contention at Liverpool.