Liverpool have struggled this season for a variety of reasons. Those reasons have been hashed out by every football fan, pundit, and blogger since August, so there is no need to go into great detail about the problems Jurgen Klopp and company are experiencing.
One of the most apparent issues with the Liverpool squad is the need for a rebuild. Players are ageing, looking tired, and some may need a new challenge or environment to play their best football. In addition, some players simply haven’t cut it despite being given significant opportunities.
The Athletic recently published an article (you can read it here) written by Andy Jones. In the article titled, The great Liverpool rebuild: Who deserves to stay and who should go? he detailed players he believes the Anfielders should sell and keep this offseason.
Some of his thoughts were spot on, while some seemed a little off the mark. For one, the market for many of the players will be weak. There isn’t a lot of money outside the Premier League, and selling players for the sake of selling them may not be an attractive proposition. This isn’t FIFA ‘23 and just because a player is for sale, doesn’t mean another club will buy them.
I’ve looked over the squad and picked out six players Liverpool could really do with selling in the offseason to begin rebuilding the squad for the future.
Curtis Jones – Value according to Transfermarkt €22m (£19.5m)
Curtis Jones is rarely fit to play for the first team. He has suffered several injuries since becoming a first-team player. In a recent article from This is Anfield, it was revealed that specialists advised the club that the midfielder should “reduce the amount he trains and plays to hopefully resolve the issue” he has with fitness and injuries. The same is being done with teenager Kaide Gordon.
Even before the injury problems Jones has had this season, he was on a downward trajectory. His FA Cup third-round goal against Everton in January 2020 excited fans for the future. Yet, since then, Jones has simply lived off the goal. It feels like so long ago that Jones emerged as a player for the future. Yet, time is passing him by.
Liverpool missed the chance to loan Jones out to a Championship club like they did with Harvey Elliott and are doing with Tyler Morton to get more experience and regular first-team football. Jones is under contract until 2027. He may not be easy to sell due to the recent injuries but could fetch a nice return for an academy product.
Thiago Alcantara – Value according to Transfermarkt €18m (£15.9m)
When Liverpool signed Thiago from Bayern Munich for £20m in 2020, I was surprised the club went for an ageing midfielder. Sure, Thiago’s quality on the ball is superb, but it seemed a little out of character for the club at the time.
Injuries have curtailed Thiago’s influence on the team, with large parts of each season at Anfield seeing the former Spain international on the sidelines. It may be forgotten that Harvey Elliott was keeping Thiago out of the team until he suffered a devasting ankle injury during the 2021-22 campaign.
Thiago has less than 18 months on his current Liverpool contract. Moving Jones and Thiago would free up money and places in midfield for the arrival of some new blood (hopefully Jude Bellingham and not a permanent deal for Arthur Melo). Thiago has had his moments in a Liverpool shirt. However, his influence on the side hasn’t been as great as hoped for due to the injuries.
Joe Gomez – Value according to Transfermarkt €30m (£26.5m)
Say what you will about the midfield, but the back four has been equally bad this season. Fortunately, the Liverpool defenders have had the midfield taking the heat off them most weeks, as the midfield is all the media can talk about when it comes to the Reds.
Gomez has been at Liverpool since July 2015 when he arrived from Charlton Athletic. He has been a good player for the team, although inconsistent and prone to injuries. Gomez is only 25 years old, which means he should be in the prime of his career. Yet, his inconsistent form and injuries have cost him the chance to be a regular in the Liverpool starting XI.
Gomez is a far better right-back than a centre-back. He can get forward and play the ball into the box. His ability to play both positions is likely what keeps him at Anfield. Gomez signed a new deal in the summer of 2022 and is under contract until 2027. His value could begin declining following this season. Liverpool may be able to get the highest transfer fee possible if they sell Gomez in the upcoming offseason rather than waiting for another year or two.
Naby Keita – Value according to Transfermarkt €20m (£19.4m)
Naby Keita is out of contract in the summer. Many Liverpool fans would have been happy to see him leave, however, reports in January claimed the club and player will sit down to discuss a new deal soon.
Keita still offers so much potential, but his body is made of glass. At the time of writing, Keita has appeared in 10 games in all competitions this season. Re-signing Keita makes a lot of sense, as Liverpool will likely lose James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the offseason. It is too expensive for Liverpool to sign two to three midfielders in one go.
Keita joined Liverpool for just over £52m from RB Leipzig. It was a promising signing at the time, but with so many games on the sidelines, Liverpool wouldn’t be blamed for selling him. Unfortunately, Keita is out of contract in the summer, so the Reds can’t sell the midfielder. As outlined above, they will need to keep some consistency for next season. So, in the end, it looks like Keita will need to be kept if possible.
Sepp van den Berg – Value according to Transfermarkt €5m (£4.4m)
I hate to break it to you, but Liverpool aren’t going to get large fees for every player they want to sell. FIFA and Football Manager have led a certain sector of fans to believe that large fees can be made off nearly every player at a Premier League club.
Defender Sepp van den Berg is one of those players the club should move on even if the fee isn’t what they would want it to be. Van den Berg is on loan in Germany with Schalke, the Bundesliga’s last-placed team.
Schalke are awful and have conceded goals left, right, and centre this term. Van den Berg has only made four appearances in the league. Unfortunately, he has a torn ankle ligament and has not played since October 8. He has saved face due to the injury.
The injury is likely to damage his resale value. There isn’t a lot of money outside of the Premier League, so Liverpool may be better off selling Van den Berg for what they can get this offseason. Something is better than nothing down the line. Van den Berg is only 21, but his current contract expires in June 2024. There are less than 18 months left on his current deal.
Leighton Clarkson – Value according to Transfermarkt €800,000 (£705,532.00)
Leighton Clarkson is on loan at Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership this season. The 21-year-old has had a stellar campaign for the Dons, appearing in 25 games, scoring four goals, and assisting three. On the face of it, Clarkson has no Liverpool future and is highly unlikely to get into the first team in the future unless something unexpected happens.
He will return to the U23 side after his loan with Aberdeen ends unless Liverpool find another place for him. Clarkson is an academy graduate with Championship experience at Blackburn Rovers. He is the type of academy graduate Liverpool need to sell to keep funds rolling in year-on-year.
Sure, Clarkson isn’t going to fetch millions of pounds, but the amount he does go for can be reinvested in different ways. With a rebuild of the squad needing to occur in the offseason, Clarkson could be the ideal player to move on to bring in some cash.
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