Opinion

Transfer Talk: Who Should Be Kept, Who Should Leave?

Alisson’s arrival makes him the 4th newest addition to the squad.

The Brazilian shot-stopper joins Keita, Fabinho and Shaqiri in making the switch to Anfield this summer.

Amidst the excitement and speculation on who may join the Reds, let’s not forget the Liverpool players whose future at the club are murky. Hence, let us examine each player one by one to see if they are worth keeping beyond the summer.

Daniel Sturridge

Back in 2013/14, the Englishman caught everyone’s attention. Together with Suarez, the pair wreck havoc upon opposition defences, plundering goal after goal. Sturridge’s 21 league goals played a major part in Liverpool’s title chase, making him one of the league’s most dangerous strikers.

Since then, Sturridge’s career have seen him more often in the treatment room than on the pitch. In fact, he only made a further 84 appearances in all competitions in the past 4 seasons, many being cameos of the bench. Klopp’s patience finally ran out in January 2018, choosing to farm him out to West Brom. Instead of making the most of the opportunity, Sturridge promptly got himself injured and missed the remainder of the season.

Many written him off, expecting him to be one of the first players sold. However, it seems like Sturridge is fighting to save his Anfield career by putting in excellent displays in preseason. Suddenly, he looked like the Sturridge of old, banging in goals with ease while looking razor sharp.

Judging on his recent performances, it is easy to say he deserves to stay in the squad. His trouble with injuries though is a cause of concern. Add in the fact that his contract expires next season and any decision made is likely a tough one.

Verdict: Sell, but only if the right offer arrives

Adam Lallana

It’s easy to forget that despite his boyish looks, Lallana is already 30 years old. The former Southampton skipper endured a torrid 2017/18, with injuries limiting him to just 11 appearances in the league. Even those cameos off the bench proved to be uninspiring, with Lallana looking extremely rusty.

With his best campaign being 2016/17 with 8 goals and 7 assists in the league, it’s easy to argue that Lallana is past is best. However, the Englishman retains the favour of his manager, mainly due to his work rate. His ability to press and hunger for the ball complements Klopp philosophy well.

With Liverpool once again having to deal with European exertions, it would be wise keeping an additional personnel in midfield. If he manages to shake off his injury woes, he might be a useful asset when it comes to rotation.

Verdict: Keep

Alberto Moreno

Despite his resurgence at the start of the 2017/18 season, the Spanish left-back became a largely forgotten figure in the latter half of the campaign. An ill-timed injury in December and a resurgent Andy Robertson kept the former Seville man out of the first XI, only playing when his Scottish counterpart was in need of a rest.

While it cannot be argued that Moreno has improved somewhat this term, there’s still an air of trepidation whenever he plays. His performance away at Seville in the Champions League is prove that he’s still prone to the odd error.

Regardless, it seems that Moreno will be staying beyond the summer. With Klopp not looking to add another left-back this transfer window, expect the Spaniard to play backup to Robertson.

Verdict: Keep

Lazar Markovic

Arriving at Melwood for a handsome fee of £20 million, the young Serbian promised so much. Former Chelsea boss Avram Grant, who managed him at Partizan, was certainly one of those convinced about Markovic’s potential, saying: “I can say that apart from Ronaldo and Messi, Markovic is one of the best talents I’ve ever seen at 19 years of age.”

Things didn’t panned out well for the youngster however, with forgetful outings in his debut campaign. Goals against Bournemouth in the League Cup and Tottenham and Sunderland in the league was as good as things got for him.

A string of loan spells to Fenerbache, Sporting Lisbon, Hull City and Anderlecht followed, though Markovic never really caught the eye.

Though he’s now back with the Reds, and included in the preseason squad, it is unlikely his stay at Anfield will prolong any longer. Barring any dramatic upturn in form in preseason, Markovic looks set to leave, especially given that he has only 1 year remaining on his contract.

Verdict: Sell

Mignolet/Karius

Ah the source of our heart attacks for the past 6 years, the duo never looked convincing between the sticks. To start things off, Mignolet was the man to succeed Reina as Liverpool No 1. A dream debut, which saw the Belgian deny Stoke City from the spot to earn a 1-0 win, promised so much. It proved to be an illusion, with the former Sunderland man making howlers on an almost consistent basis.

Klopp knew that the goalkeeping department needed fixing, which led him to sign Karius from his old club Mainz. Voted the 2nd best keeper in the Bundesliga in 2015/16, fans were hopeful he could be the one to solve the club’s goalkeeping woes.

He didn’t.

The pressure proved too much for the young German, leading to Klopp pulling him out of the firing line after his howler gifted Bournemouth the win in December 2016. Having let Mignolet had a run in the first team, Klopp decided to hand the No 1 position to his compatriot for good for the latter half of the 2017/18. To his credit, Karius put in decent performances in his second stint as Liverpool’s No 1, only for it to spectacularly go up in flames in the Champions League final.

With Alisson Becker’s arrival, it spells the end for both keepers in terms of a starting spot. Hence, which of the duo should leave?

Mignolet, being 3o years old, is unlikely to improve his game further. Reports have suggested that he’s itching for a move, with him recently linked to Barcelona. Karius on the other hand is still relatively young at 25 years old. Though he produced a horror show in Kiev, time is on his side to recover. A spot away from the limelight would prove beneficial for the German, with starts in the local cups likely to be afforded to him.

Verdict: Sell Mignolet, keep Karius
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