Brendan Rodgers has already completed significant transfer business this summer, bringing in Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Lazar Markovic, and Emre Can, with Divock Origi, Loic Remy and Dejan Lovren all rumoured to be hot on their heels.
However, with the notable exception of Luis Suarez, there have been very few players leaving Anfield. This is hardly surprising given Rodgers may not have known which targets he would have been able to bring in, but now that he has got his men, it would not be surprising to see some of the fringe players being shown the door.
Here we look at which players Rodgers can afford to let go.
1. Oussama Assaidi
Assaidi was a player brought in at the start of Brendan Rodgers’s reign at Anfield. Although he seems a good player, he never really got a chance even when Liverpool had a desperately thin squad during the 2012/2013 campaign.
Despite a solid season on loan at Stoke last season, he is unlikely to seriously challenge Sterling, Markovic, Lallana and Coutinho as a first team player due to his lack of flexibility and, given the low price he was bought for, Rodgers may well be looking to move him on at a profit during this window.
2. Glen Johnson
Johnson was a big signing for Liverpool when he first arrived from Portsmouth, and has been a good player for the club down the years, marauding down the right flank and providing some defensive solidity.
However, towards the end of last season he looked out of his depth in Liverpool’s attacking play and he is not good enough defensively to justify his inclusion if he cannot continue to contribute offensively.
The return from injury of Martin Kelly, once considered as England’s best future option at right back, and the high level performances from Jon Flanagan in his less natural left-back position should be enough to see Johnson out the door and Liverpool saving a lot of money on his inflated wages.
3. Lucas Leiva
It seems a shame to say it, for Lucas has been a loyal servant to the club for a number of years now, going from the target of abuse from fans early in his career to being selected as player of the season during the 2010/11 season by supporters.
He is mostly a victim of Steven Gerrard’s move to the regista defensive midfield role that he now plays, meaning Liverpool now have no place for a true defensive midfielder in their line-up.
With the arrival of Emre Can to compete for Joe Allen’s place and Jordan Henderson’s increasing importance last season, it seems unlikely that he will again have the same chance at Liverpool so he may well leave this summer.
4. Sebastian Coates
You wouldn’t know it given the quantity of goals Liverpool leaked last season, but they actually have quite a number of high-class options in defence.
If Dejan Lovren arrives as expected Liverpool would have the choice of Skrtel, Sakh, Agger and the Croatian, along with the young Tiago Ilori to fight for two spots in central defence. At 23 Coates is no longer the emerging ‘next big thing’ and he has probably missed his chance to influence this Liverpool team.
Liverpool then, may have almost concluded their business for the summer in terms of buying, but if they manage to find suitable buyers for these players, they may well have significantly improved their squad depth with a net spend of less than £10 million. Who knows, they may even do it at a profit.
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