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LFC END OF SEASON SALE

19 Liverpool players facing big summer decisions – Verdict on every LFC loan deal

Liverpool sent almost a full squad of youngsters and fringe players out on loan in 2023/24. So who stood out and who struggled, and what comes next?

As with every season, it was a busy campaign for Liverpool’s loan department as a total of 20 players headed out to various clubs.

Many moved elsewhere in the UK, but there were also departures to Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands and Spain as those not in the first-team frame sought experience elsewhere.

But how did every Liverpool loanee perform in 2023/24?

Here we run through all 19 players who ended the campaign with another club – with the exception of Marcelo Pitaluga, who is midway through the season at St Patrick’s Athletic.

 

Sepp van den Berg – Mainz – Centre-back, 22

2RWF3PX Mainz's Sepp van den Berg during a German Bundesliga soccer match between FSV Mainz 05 and VfB Stuttgart in Mainz, Germany, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Appearances (Starts): 35 (31)
Goals: 3
Assists: 0
League finish: 13th in Bundesliga


Van den Berg’s final game on loan at Mainz saw him score a vital goal on the way to a 3-1 victory over Wolfsburg which ensured their place in next season’s Bundesliga.

It rounded off a productive campaign that saw the Dutchman cement himself as a key starter in defence, which could lead to a permanent move with reports of a purchase clause in the deal.

What happens next? Van den Berg could either join Mainz permanently or fight for a place at Liverpool.

 

Fabio Carvalho – Leipzig, Hull – Attacking midfielder, 21

2WBXEP9 Fabio Carvalho of Hull City during the Sky Bet Championship match Hull City vs Norwich City at MKM Stadium, Hull, United Kingdom, 12th January 2024 (Photo by Mark Cosgrove/News Images)

Appearances (Starts): 35 (23)
Goals: 9
Assists: 2
League finish: 7th in Championship


After a difficult half-season at Leipzig that saw him start only three times and clock 360 minutes on the pitch, Carvalho made the brave decision to drop to the Championship, where he was vital for Liam Rosenior’s Hull.

The majority of his appearances for Hull came as a false nine, with the Portuguese scoring nine goals in 20 games for the Tigers before returning with a view to impressing Arne Slot.

What happens next? Back for pre-season at Liverpool, with potential for a first-team role.

 

Tyler Morton – Hull – Midfielder, 21

2RYCDW4 Tyler Morton of Hull City during the Sky Bet Championship match Hull City vs Plymouth Argyle at MKM Stadium, Hull, United Kingdom, 30th September 2023 (Photo by Ryan Crockett/News Images)

Appearances (Starts): 41 (35)
Goals: 3
Assists: 5
League finish: 7th in Championship


Carvalho joined a Liverpool team-mate at Hull, with Morton spending the entire campaign at the MKM Stadium and establishing himself as central to Rosenior’s plans.

The 21-year-old clearly grew in stature and confidence during his second stint in the Championship – with the combative midfielder also hoping to force his way into Slot’s squad next season.

What happens next? Pre-season with Liverpool before a big decision is made.

 

Nat Phillips – Celtic, Cardiff – Centre-back, 27

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 23, 2021: Liverpool's Nathaniel Phillips after the final FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-0 and finished 3rd in the table. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Appearances (Starts): 26 (21)
Goals: 1
Assists: 0
League finish: 12th in Championship


Phillips struggled to break into Brendan Rodgers’ side at Celtic, which saw the centre-back make the switch to Cardiff midway through the season.

That paid off in terms of game time, with Phillips starting 17 consecutive games and finishing the campaign with a goal in a 5-2 defeat to Rotherham.

What happens next? A permanent move elsewhere after eight years on Merseyside.

 

Owen Beck – Dundee – Left-back, 21

2REA1Y1 26th July 2023; Dens Park, Dundee, Scotland: Scottish Viaplay Cup Group E Football, Dundee versus Dumbarton; Owen Beck of Dundee during the warm up before the match

Appearances (Starts): 28 (28)
Goals: 2
Assists: 4
League finish: 6th in Scottish Premiership


After a frustrating season in 2022/23 that saw loans at Famalicao and Bolton fail, Beck was made to feel wanted again this time out – by both Liverpool and Dundee.

His brief recall midway through the season gave more experience working under Jurgen Klopp, but it was his key status at Dundee that was most valuable, excelling as attacking left wing-back.

What happens next? Hard to say, but don’t rule out a permanent move to Scotland.

 

Luke Chambers – Wigan – Left-back, 19

BRADFORD, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 5, 2023: Liverpool's Luke Chambers during the English Football League Trophy Round of 32 match between Bradford City AFC and Liverpool FC Under-21's at Valley Parade. (Photo by Ed Sykes/Propaganda)

Appearances (Starts): 18 (17)
Goals: 1
Assists: 3
League finish: 12th in League One


Having spent the first half of the season splitting time between Liverpool’s first team and U21s, Chambers was granted a move to Wigan that allowed him to settle as a regular at senior level.

He shone immediately, starting regularly at both centre-back and left-back, with manager Shaun Maloney summing it up: “To make it really simple, we signed him in January and he’s made our starting XI better.”

What happens next? Turning 20 in June, Chambers will hope to form part of Slot’s long-term plans.

 

Calvin Ramsay – Preston, Bolton – Right-back, 20

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, October 31, 2022: Liverpool's Calvin Ramsay during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 6 game between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Appearances (Starts): 6 (3)
Goals: 0
Assists: 0
League finish: 3rd in League One (lost playoff final)


Another wasted season, this time strangely so.

There was a sense that Ramsay joined Preston too soon, with the right-back still short of fitness, while a mid-season swap to Bolton saw little improvement as he failed to force his way into the matchday squad.

What happens next? Though he is still young, Ramsay has dropped below Conor Bradley in the pecking order and may need to consider leaving Liverpool.

 

Harvey Davies – Crewe – Goalkeeper, 20

2RGD6MP Crewe Alexandra goalkeeper Harvey Davies celebrates after saving a penalty from Sunderland's Pierre Ekwah during the penalty shoot-out of the Carabao Cup first round match at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland. Picture date: Tuesday August 8, 2023.

Appearances (Starts): 32 (31)
Clean sheets: 8
Goals conceded: 46
League finish: 6th in League Two (lost playoff final)


It may have been a formative season for Davies, who arrived at Crewe as No. 1 goalkeeper but, after a series of mistakes, saw himself dropped and was unable to reclaim his place.

He still made 32 appearances in his first season in senior football, however, and that experience of adversity could prepare him for the rigours of life at Liverpool.

What happens next? With the goalkeeping staff departing it could either be a positive, fresh start for Davies under new staff or a summer in limbo.

 

Vitezslav Jaros – Sturm Graz – Goalkeeper, 22

BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 8, 2023: Liverpool's goalkeeper Vitezslav Jaros during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the American Express Community Stadium. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Appearances (Starts): 21 (21)
Clean sheets: 7
Goals conceded: 20
League finish: 1st in Austrian Bundesliga; also won Austrian Cup


Jaros’ switch to Sturm Graz in January could hardly have gone better, arriving as new No. 1 and gaining experience in the Europa Conference League.

There was then the small matter of a league and cup double, first triumphing over Rapid Wien to lift the Austrian Cup and then finishing above Pepijn Lijnders‘ new club, Red Bull Salzburg, as champions of the Austrian Bundesliga.

What happens next? If Caoimhin Kelleher leaves, don’t be surprised if Jaros is retained as No. 2 at Liverpool.

 

Billy Koumetio – Dunkerque, Blackburn – Centre-back, 21

KIDDERMINSTER, ENGLAND - Friday, January 27, 2023: Liverpool's Billy Koumetio before the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC Under-21's and Liverpool FC Under-21's at Aggborough Stadium. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Appearances (Starts): 10 (9)
Goals: 0
Assists: 0
League finish: 19th in Championship


Koumetio was unable to gain a foothold at either USL Dunkerque in his native France or Blackburn in the Championship, in another difficult season out on loan.

He only played 48 minutes for Blackburn’s first team – admittedly in an impressive display in the valiant defeat to Newcastle in the FA Cup – with almost double that coming for their U21s against Nottingham Forest.

What happens next? A permanent exit seems likely.

 

Dominic Corness – Yverdon – Midfielder, 21

KIRKBY, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 3, 2022: Liverpool's Dominic Corness during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool FC Under-18's and Manchester United FC Under-18's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Appearances (Starts): 21 (7)
Goals: 0
Assists: 1
League finish: 9th in Swiss Super League


Corness made a brave decision to head to Switzerland to join Yverdon-Sport last summer, going out of his comfort zone to experience a new culture in his first spell on loan.

Though injury ended his season early, it was a hugely positive time for the midfielder, who featured 21 times for Yverdon and no doubt gained admirers from elsewhere.

What happens next? A loan in the Championship could await.

 

Adam Lewis – Newport County – Left-back, 24

2KDWBE1 Newport County's Adam Lewis applauds the fans after the Carabao Cup third round match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester. Picture date: Tuesday November 8, 2022.

Appearances (Starts): 30 (28)
Goals: 2
Assists: 6
League finish: 18th in League Two


Lewis joined Newport County for a second successive season, having seen his previous campaign curtailed by injury, with the left-back picking up where he left off.

Now 24, he appears to have found the right level for this stage in his career, asserting himself as a key player for the Welsh club.

What happens next? This Is Anfield understands Lewis’ contract at Liverpool expires this summer, which could lead to a permanent move to Newport.

 

James Norris – Tranmere – Left-back, 21

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 12, 2024: Liverpool's James Norris during the Premier League 2 Quarter-Final Play-Off match between Tottenham Hotspur FC Under-21's and Liverpool FC Under-21's at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The game ended 3-3 after extra-time, Tottenham won 5-4 on penalties. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Appearances (Starts): 20 (10)
Goals: 0
Assists: 0
League finish: 16th in League Two


Norris’ introduction to life at nearby Tranmere was difficult, with the young left-back substituted three minutes before half-time on his first start, but fortunes improved after manager Ian Dawes was sacked.

With a more qualified coach taking Dawes’ place in Nigel Adkins, Norris eventually fought his way back into the side, starting the final five games before returning, clearly matured, with a goal in Liverpool U21s’ playoff defeat to Tottenham.

What happens next? Having experienced life in the Football League, it could be an opportunity for Norris to step out on a long-term basis.

 

James Balagizi – Wigan, Kilmarnock – Midfielder, 20

TORINO, ITALY - Tuesday, March 15, 2022: Liverpool's substitutes before the UEFA Youth League Quarter-Final between Juventus Under-19's and Liverpool FC Under-19's at the Juventus Training Centre. James Balagizi, James McConnell, and Tommy Pilling. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Appearances (Starts): 14 (4)
Goals: 0
Assists: 0
League finish: 4th in Scottish Premiership


Bad timing has been a trend throughout Balagizi’s transition from academy prospect to senior player, with a host of unfortunate injuries blocking him from involvement under Klopp.

That was also the case in loans with Wigan and then Kilmarnock, with the attacking midfielder struggling to impose himself at either club.

What happens next? Another loan is paramount, with Balagizi turning 21 in September.

 

Luca Stephenson – Barrow – Midfielder, 20

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 12, 2024: Liverpool's substitute Luca Stephenson during the Premier League 2 Quarter-Final Play-Off match between Tottenham Hotspur FC Under-21's and Liverpool FC Under-21's at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Appearances (Starts): 34 (20)
Goals: 0
Assists: 0
League finish: 8th in League Two


A sleeper success in League Two, Stephenson never looked out of place in a side full of much older players at Barrow, particularly as he did so in a variety of roles from midfield to right-back.

The 20-year-old slotted in comfortably as a tenacious midfielder and was able to show his quality on the ball in a side battling for promotion.

What happens next? Like Balagizi, another loan is likely, with a step up in level almost certain.

 

Jakub Ojrzynski – Den Bosch – Goalkeeper, 21

2RYAFM5 Groningen, Netherlands. 29th Sep, 2023. GRONINGEN, NETHERLANDS - SEPTEMBER 29: goalkeeper Jakub Ojrzynski of FC Den Bosch makes a save during the Dutch Keuken Kampioen Divisie match between FC Groningen and FC Den Bosch at Euroborg on September 29, 2023 in Groningen, Netherlands (Photo by Pieter van der Woude/ Orange Pictures) Credit: Orange Pics BV/Alamy Live News

Appearances (Starts): 11 (11)
Clean sheets: 1
Goals conceded: 22
League finish: 19th in Eerste Divisie


When Ojrzynski made the move to Den Bosch in the Dutch second tier, the club’s technical director Yousuf Saijad described their goalkeeping ranks as being in a “transition phase.”

It was hardly the bedrock needed for a young player to settle, with there seemingly no clear plan in place for the Pole, who played only once in 2024 having been replaced by another loanee mid-season.

What happens next? Ojrzynski would benefit from a permanent exit.

 

Anderson Arroyo – FC Andorra, Burgos – Right-back, 24

KAA Gent's new player Anderson Arroyo Cordoba pictured in action during a training session of Belgian soccer team KAA Gent, during the 2018-2019 Jupiler Pro League season, Friday 07 September 2018, in Gent. BELGA PHOTO JASPER JACOBS

Appearances (Starts): 25 (19)
Goals: 1
Assists: 0
League finish: 11th in Spanish Segunda Division


With no UK work permit and no chance of breaking into Liverpool’s first team in any case, Arroyo instead joined his seventh and eighth loan clubs over the course of the season.

The versatile Colombian defender was a regular for both FC Andorra and Burgos, which could boost his chances of earning a full-time switch to Spain this summer.

What happens next? For his sake, hopefully sold!

 

Luke Hewitson – Stalybridge Celtic – Goalkeeper, 19

IPSWICH, ENGLAND - Friday, February 3, 2023: Liverpool's goalkeeper Luke Hewitson during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Youth Cup 5th Round match between Ipswich Town FC Under-18's and Liverpool FC Under-18's at Portman Road. (Pic by Stephen Pond/Propaganda)

Appearances (Starts): 42 (42)
Clean sheets: 8
Goals conceded: 72
League finish: 12th in Northern Premier League Division One West


Spending the season with local non-league side Stalybridge Celtic was the perfect platform for Hewitson to hone his talents at senior level while still a teenager.

He became a popular figure at Bower Fold, with his quality as a graduate of the Sunderland and Liverpool academies shining through.

What happens next? Hewitson has already confirmed his departure from Liverpool as a free agent.

 

Reece Trueman – Colwyn Bay – Goalkeeper, 19

IPSWICH, ENGLAND - Friday, February 3, 2023: Liverpool's goalkeeper Reece Trueman during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Youth Cup 5th Round match between Ipswich Town FC Under-18's and Liverpool FC Under-18's at Portman Road. (Pic by Stephen Pond/Propaganda)

Appearances (Starts): 7 (7)
Clean sheets: 3
Goals conceded: 11
League finish: 11th in Welsh Premier League (won relegation playoff)


Academy training goalkeeper Trueman spent the second half of the season with Welsh side Colwyn Bay, with the experience gained no doubt aiding him moving forward.

What happens next? Return to Liverpool’s academy as training goalkeeper.