Liverpool

Liverpool

Premier League • England

Nine players Liverpool could let go this summer as Jurgen Klopp plans a huge squad rebuild

After enduring a difficult start to the 2022/23 season, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will already be making plans for the summer transfer window.

Klopp’s side are hoping to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham and they’ve also been linked with Goncalo Inacio, Matheus Nunes and Randal Kolo Muani in recent weeks.

But the Reds will also be looking to offload some of their current players to raise transfer funds and make room for their new signings.

We’ve taken a look at nine players that should probably head out the exit door at Liverpool in the summer.

Adrian

The goalkeeping department is one area that Liverpool don’t really have to worry about.

Alisson Becker has been their standout performer this season and Caoimhin Kelleher is one of the best backup goalkeepers in the Premier League.

Adrian, who joined Liverpool on a free transfer in 2019, is now behind both Alisson and Kelleher in the pecking order and has featured just twice across all competitions over the past two seasons.

The 36-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and reportedly wants to see out his playing career in his native Spain.

Joel Matip

Since joining the Reds from Schalke on a free transfer in the summer of 2016, Matip has become a cult hero amongst Liverpool fans.

But the 2022/23 season has seen a sharp decline in his performances and the centre-back recently came under heavy fire after scoring an own goal during a 3-0 defeat against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

His place in the Liverpool defensive pecking order has fallen, with Ibrahima Konate and Virgil van Dijk forming the Reds’ first-choice centre-back pairing when fit.

Another centre-back at Klopp’s disposal is Joe Gomez, who signed a new long-term contract with the club last summer and provides a homegrown squad option.

Matip celebrates his 32nd birthday this year and as a result of that, his contract – which is due to expire at the end of the 2023/24 season – seems unlikely to be extended.

According to Football Insider, Liverpool are in the market for a new centre-back and are ready to sell the Cameroon international for the right price in the summer.

Joel Matip of Liverpool brings the ball out of defence, Liverpool versus FC Benfica, quarter-final 2nd leg

Nat Phillips

Phillips came through Liverpool’s academy and stepped in admirably during Van Dijk and Gomez’s absences in the 2020/21 season, helping the Reds secure Champions League qualification.

But the centre-back has never been anything more than a stand-in option at Anfield and has made just five appearances in all competitions in 2022/23.

He was heavily linked with Turkish side Galatasaray in the January transfer window but Konate’s hamstring injury scuppered any potential move for the 25-year-old.

The Reds will probably look to offload him once again when the summer window opens and they’ll be hoping to raise about £10m from any sale.

Rhys Williams

Alongside Phillips, Williams was thrust into the Liverpool first-team in 2020/21 after an unexpected injury crisis left the Reds short at the back.

The centre-back fell out of favour once the injured players returned and joined Swansea City on loan ahead of the 2021/22 season.

But he struggled to establish himself in the side, making just seven appearances in all competitions before the loan deal was cut short in January 2022.

The 22-year-old then spent the first half of this season on loan at Blackpool and made 17 appearances in the Championship, but he was recalled by Liverpool in January amid the uncertainty surrounding Phillips’ future.

He’s now sixth choice in Klopp’s pecking order and could be deemed surplus to requirements by the manager at the end of the season.

James Milner

Since leaving Manchester City and joining Liverpool on a free transfer in 2015, Milner has been an outstanding servant for the club.

The versatile midfielder has made over 300 appearances in all competitions and has also won every trophy possible with the Reds.

While his experience and influence in the dressing room cannot be underestimated, Liverpool are in desperate need of fresh blood in the middle of the park.

Milner, who is out of contract at the end of the current campaign, recently turned 37 and doesn’t represent the long-term solution.

If he decides to hang up his boots in the summer, keeping him on as a coach would be a very smart move by Klopp.

James Milner of Liverpool, August 2022

Arthur Melo

An injury crisis in midfield prompted a reaction from Liverpool last summer and they signed Arthur from Juventus on a season-long loan deal on transfer deadline day.

The Brazil international arrived with a reputation for being injury-prone and has lived up to his name, making just one substitute appearance for the Reds at the time of writing.

Unsurprisingly, a report from The Athletic indicates that Liverpool will not activate the £30.1m buy option to make the midfielder extend his stay at Anfield beyond 2022/23.

Fabinho

Fabinho has played an integral role in Liverpool’s success under Klopp and the idea of selling him seemed unthinkable just a few months ago.

But the 29-year-old has produced a lot of lacklustre performances this season and looks like a shadow of his former self, leading some people to question if he’s past his peak.

“It’s quite strange isn’t it, we were talking about Fabinho about 18 months ago as being the best defensive midfielder in world football,” Micah Richards told The Monday Night Club on the BBC.

“He just looks like he can do all the same things apart from the legs. You know when you’re a midfielder and your legs just start to go, and you can’t get around the pitch as much as you would like, that’s what it seems to be.”

Stefan Bajcetic, who has broken into the Liverpool team this season, could be the long-term successor to Fabinho and the Reds may look to cash in on the Brazil international if his form doesn’t improve before the end of the season.

Naby Keita

Keita arrived at Liverpool with high expectations following a series of impressive showings for RB Leipzig in Germany.

The 28-year-old has since shown glimpses of his quality, but not on a consistent basis and has generally struggled to justify his £52.75m price tag.

He’s also been plagued by a series of injury problems, making just 83 Premier League appearances during his four-and-a-half years on Merseyside.

Keita is out of contract at the end of the season and Football Insider claim that Liverpool put an end to contract extension talks in January after the Guinea international refused to accept a pay cut.

While Klopp is reportedly a big fan of the midfielder, a lot of Liverpool fans have lost patience with Keita and few would argue that he’s done enough to earn a new deal at Anfield.

According to reports, Tottenham, AC Milan, Inter, Roma, Lyon, Monaco and RB Leipzig are all looking to sign him on a free transfer in the summer.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Alongside Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain is similarly prone to injury problems and has mainly been used as a squad player at Liverpool.

The midfielder was unavailable for selection for the first 11 weeks of the current campaign due to a hamstring problem and Klopp needs someone he can rely on.

While he did start four successive league games following the resumption of Premier League football after Christmas, Cody Gakpo’s arrival at the start of January has coincided with a return to the substitutes’ bench for Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The England international – who turns 30 in August – is out of contract at the end of the season and Goal’s Neil Jones claims that he won’t be offered a new deal by Liverpool.

He still looks set to remain in the Premier League as Brighton, Southampton and West Ham are reportedly monitoring his situation.

READ MORE: How the transfer net spend at Liverpool compares with their Premier League rivals in the last five years