Why defender stayed at Liverpool despite Xabi Alonso transfer interest

Liverpool defender Luke Chambers was expected to depart the club on loan over the summer, with interest from Bayer Leverkusen and Swansea.

Chambers spent the second half of last season on loan at Kilmarnock, featuring in 16 of a possible 17 games and starting 15, in a variety of roles.

That attracted wider interest heading into the summer transfer window, including reported offers from Xabi Alonso’s Leverkusen and Championship side Swansea.

But the 19-year-old remained on Merseyside beyond deadline day, with there a confusion around his situation given the suitors.

His absence throughout pre-season for both the first team and U21s suggested he was close to a move, but it transpires that Chambers returned for training injured.

“He missed pre-season through injury but he’s worked hard to get back,” U21s manager Barry Lewtas told the club’s official website.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 1, 2023: Liverpool's Luke Chambers walks out before the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Crystal Palace’s Under-21’s and Liverpool FC Under-21's at the Crystal Palace Training Ground. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After sitting out the senior squad’s trips to Singapore and Germany, plus academy friendlies against Peterborough, Kidderminster Harriers, Blackpool and Hull, the decision was seemingly made to stay.

With Jarell Quansah promoted to the first team, Lee Jonas injured and both James Norris and Billy Koumetio leaving on loan, Chambers began the campaign proper with the U21s.

Along with six outings at academy level so far, the teenager rejoined Jurgen Klopp‘s squad for training at the start of August and has been a regular at the AXA Training Centre since.

He has made the matchday squad for three of the last four games, and made his debut as a late substitute in the 3-1 League Cup victory over Leicester.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 27, 2023: Liverpool's Luke Chambers after the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

While there may have been the opportunity for more game time at Swansea or greater exposure at Leverkusen, the timing of Chambers’ injury has, in fact, given him a chance at Liverpool.

“To come on and make your debut is a special moment, especially if you look at how long he has been at the club since the age of six,” Lewtas reflected.

“It’s the same as Jarell and long may it continue.”

It is likely that Liverpool will field further offers for Chambers, who can play both centre-back and left-back, in January.

Whether he leaves on another loan spell remains to be seen, with it possible that he features later in the Europa League group stage and perhaps against Bournemouth in the fourth round of the League Cup.