Liverpool have been one of the most dominant sides in the Premier League under Jurgen Klopp. They have won three European titles, including a sixth Champions League crown, and of course the Premier League. That last one was the centre of their attention for 30 years and achieving it in 2019-20 surely ranks as one of the greatest moments in club history.
WE’RE PREMIER LEAGUE CHAMPIONS!! 🏆 pic.twitter.com/qX7Duxoslm
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 25, 2020
Klopp has assembled a supremely talented squad who are known both for their terrific goal scoring and stoic defence. Even without three of their starting choice defenders, the Reds managed to finish 3rd last season after going undefeated in their final 10 games. However, the club do have certain players they need to move on urgently for both parties’ sake and FootTheBall looks at three players who fit that category.
The Belgian striker has been with the club since 2014, making over 100 appearances. In that period, he has also been sent out on loan to Lille and Wolfsburg for a season respectively. Origi was in impressive form for the French club, but a spate of injuries in England meant he was never a starter. Furthermore, the presence of better strikers at all times in the team hampered his first-team chances.
Divock Origi on his favourite goal 🗣 “Definitely the Everton one. It’s the goal they speak about most in the city. It’s amazing. I love it. It shows the heart of the supporters. It’s Liverpool, you know.” ♥️pic.twitter.com/FHIZabVGdN
— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) December 21, 2019
Luis Suarez, Mario Balotelli, Daniel Sturridge were all preferred in starting roles during Origi’s early years before it got even worse. Liverpool assembled their current world-class front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in three years which propelled them to silverware. Despite limited appearances, Origi has already written his name into Liverpool folklore due to his famous exploits. He was a scorer in the team’s Champions League final win but more importantly, his brace against Barcelona to overcome the 3-0 first-leg deficit will go down in history.
He loves an 𝙞𝙢𝙥𝙤𝙧𝙩𝙖𝙣𝙩 goal 🤩
Our top 5️⃣ Origi strikes… and you've probably guessed them 😍 pic.twitter.com/8mALsEivxu
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 21, 2020
His quick reactions from THAT Trent Alexander-Arnold corner led to one of the best moments in Champions League history. He has also scored a winner against arch-rivals Everton in the final minute of the derby to further become a cult hero for every supporter. All of this proves he’s still a starting-caliber forward, but currently, there’s no scope for that at Anfield. He’ll fetch a decent amount of money and Liverpool will not really be too much worse without him given their attacking richness.
It is hard to assess Keita’s value as a Liverpool player, given how little we have seen of him since his maiden season. The Guinea international had extensive top-flight football experience with both Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig before joining the Reds. He started off well enough, making 25 appearances in the Premier League in his debut season but that was as good as it got.
Like Origi, he was also bitten by the injury bug towards the end of 2018-19 and lost his starting place in the subsequent season. Keita is well-known for being a box-to-box midfielder who can thread some beautiful passes, so it does feel like he’s being underutilized at Anfield. Furthermore, the rise of Curtis Jones and the return of an impressive Harvey Elliot will likely see his playing time decrease once more. Klopp has also expressed his displeasure over some of Keita’s displays with the low point coming in the 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League in April.
Naby Keita wasn't the only poor Liverpool player during tonight's Champions League first-half v Real Madrid.
But he was the one Jurgen Klopp decided to haul off early – and in fairness – the Guinean could have few complaints 🔴 https://t.co/cPWOIp4XnB
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) April 6, 2021
Keita started the match but was yanked off in the 42nd minute and did not feature since. Liverpool are certain to take a loss on his £52 million price tag but can still get upwards of £30 million if they play their cards right. There will be suitors for him in this pandemic-stricken market as Keita represents a solid presence at a fair value.
CHANGE OF SCENERY
The most decorated name on this list and a stalwart of the game for many years. Shaqiri has been a loyal servant to Liverpool since joining in 2018, being a serial starter through his first three seasons. Like Origi, the Swiss’ downfall in terms of game time came after the Reds settled down with their current starting front line.
2 – Xherdan Shaqiri is the first Liverpool player to assist two goals as a substitute since James Milner vs Spartak Moscow in December 2017 (3) and Shaqiri assisted those two goals within 208 seconds of coming off the bench. Impact. pic.twitter.com/tJyJivStfL
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 8, 2021
He only appeared seven times in the league in their title-winning season followed by just five starts last season producing no goals and just two assists. The signing of Diogo Jota contributed to his falling down in the pecking order and along with the presence of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the side, the future looks bleak for the 29-year-old. Shaqiri’s time at Anfield has been largely uneventful save for a few important goals over the years.
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 17, 2018
His devotion is well-known for not shying away from his role and adapting his gameplay to suit Klopp’s style. His transfer fee will be around the range of £10 million or under but that should not hold back Liverpool from selling the winger. He has given his all on the pitch whenever given the chance and that is sure to continue for whichever club he joins next.
Liverpool are well-positioned presently to challenge for the title once again in the upcoming season. The return of their first-choice defenders will certainly boost their aspirations along with the signing of Ibrahim Konate. The losses of the players listed here will not have much impact since they have able replacements in each category.