Where do we go from here?
That is what Liverpool fans would have been thinking in the immediate aftermath of their crushing 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League final. The Reds, undone by a disastrous display from Loris Karius, lay smote and empty on the pitch.
Less than 48 hours later, the capture of Brazilian midfielder Fabinho switched the focus. A swiftly concluded deal meant that supporters could focus instead on the coming season. Alongside Naby Keita, the former Monaco man will comprise arguably the most talented midfield pairing in the Premier League.
There’s limited space on the Klopp train next year, however. Here are five players who could find themselves booted out in the Summer.
1 Adam Lallana
Brought on as an early substitute in Kiev, Adam Lallana’s sole contribution was to nearly slice a ball to a Real Madrid attacker in his own box. It summed up a difficult year for the England wide-man, with a campaign ravaged by injury.
With Moses Simon continuing to be linked with a move to Anfield, Lallana’s place as a back-up for Liverpool’s front three comes under renewed threat. At 30, he needs to be playing regularly, with a chocked midfield roster meaning his chances will be even more restricted next term.
2 Simon Mignolet
Concussion or not, most Liverpool fans would have preferred Karius in goal over Simon Mignolet. That might feel flippant, but there is little affection at Anfield for a goalkeeper whose lack of authority and panic under high balls leads to continual jitters.
Mignolet has been at Liverpool for five seasons now, yet he is still unable to make the position his own. Should a move for Roma’s Allisson come to fruition, the Belgian simply has to be shown the door.
3 Dominic Solanke
Viewed widely as a shrewd pick-up upon his departure from Chelsea, Dominic Solanke has proved anything but.
In the rare appearances, he’s been granted, the Englishman has looked a level below that which is required for elite competition. A loan move, for example, to Steven Gerrard’s Rangers, might appeal, but Solanke needs a devastating year if he wants to salvage hopes of a legacy at the Anfield club.
4 Alberto Moreno
After a difficult start, Andy Robertson has made the left-back spot his own personal fiefdom at Liverpool. That leaves very little space for Alberto Moreno, the Spanish wing-back who was once touted as a real competitor for Jordi Alba in the national team.
Moreno, whilst being nowhere near as cumbersome as some pundits would have you believe, is nevertheless the weakest player in Klopp’s defence. Good going forward though he may be, he cannot be trusted in his own half, with his tendency to roam out of position giving the German coach a continual headache
5 Danny Ings
You have to feel for Danny Ings. The former Burnley man earned a move to Liverpool on merit, but back-to-back injuries have relegated him to a mere afterthought under Jurgen Klopp.
Unable to snare a first-team place, he was forced to play with the Under 23s in the early part of the campaign. He scored his first goal in almost three years back in March, but whilst the joy on his face was clear to see, Ings will know more than anyone that his path to the first-team is blocked by several stars.
Wolves have already made their interest known, and at this stage, a move could benefit all parties. Wherever he goes, however, the Kop will be hoping that Ings’ injury woes are behind him.
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