Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been told to make the drastic decision and let two players depart Anfield for nothing when the January transfer window opens for business.
The Reds are likely to be one of the most active Premier League squads when the winter window opens for business in just 27 days time. Indeed, their need for at least one new midfielder is abundantly clear with the loan signing of Arthur badly failing.
Klopp reportedly still hopes to get a tune from the Brazilian, though it’s claimed a decision on his future could be taken away from him.
However, their issues run much deeper than Arthur, who was only signed on loan and was merely only a cover player at best. For a start, James Milner turns 37 in a month’s time and there are suggestions this may be his last season on Merseyside.
In addition, both Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara look more and more vulnerable to injury. And with the pair both over the age of 30, youth is no longer on their side either.
The Reds are also soon to be two other players light with Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain nearing the end of their deals. Keita, signed in a near £53m deal from RB Leipzig in 2018, has seen his time on Merseyside plagued by injuries. Now in his fifth season on Merseyside, Keita has made just 117 appearances and will depart as a major disappointment.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was another costly buy, with the Reds shelling out £35m to prise him from Arsenal in 2017. While initially looking a good signing, he too is no stranger to the treatment table. And his record stands at just 137 appearances, with many months lost to a serious ACL injury.
Liverpool urged to show Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain the door
Eligible for free transfers in the summer, the pair can sign pre-contract agreements with overseas clubs from January 1. In the meantime, Klopp is reportedly looking to use the duo as bargaining chips to land a £35m-rated AC Milan star.
Realistically, though, there are unlikely to be too many sides willing to pay a fee for the duo.
Keita is yet to play a competitive game under Klopp this season. Oxlade-Chamberlain, meanwhile, made his return to action just before the break and has four appearances to his name.
And despite a lack of midfield depth in the squad, pundit Alan Hutton is urging Liverpool to let them leave on frees in January.
Explaining his thinking to Football Insider, Hutton thinks the pair are taking up valuable squad places for Liverpool.
“We are talking about two guys who have not played a lot of football,” he said.
“It is not ideal letting assets go for nothing. But if you have got a plan moving forward and targets to bring in, then you need to free up space. Some people need to go – it is quite as simple as that.
“They are the boys that Jurgen Klopp sees that he does not need so you have to kind of cut your losses at some point.”
Naby Keita needs new club
Despite the call, the pair will most likely see out the season on Merseyside. Oxlade-Chamberlain will have no shortage of offers, despite a lack of football, though a pay-as-you-play deal has been mooted.
Keita, meanwhile, could head back to Germany with Borussia Dortmund and former team Leipzig reportedly keen. The latter may soon have a place in their midfield opening up with Reds target Konrad Laimer seemingly heading for Bayern Munich.
There are also reports of interest from Italy in Keita with both Inter and Milan keen. He will hope a change of scene can bring with it a change of luck and help him recapture the form that made him Liverpool’s fourth costliest signing of all time.