Liverpool

Liverpool’s Pre-Season Tour Gives Transfer Hints

 • by James Nalton
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Liverpool have made the trip to Hong Kong to play their two games in the Premier League Asia Trophy, and the squad they’ve chosen to take out there is more notable for who has been left behind.

As this is a Premier League competition there are restrictions on the amount of players a club can have registered for the games, as is the case in league matches, so rather than travel with the entire first team and half the youth academy, Jurgen Klopp has had to pick a 25-man squad to take to East Asia.

Liverpool will play Crystal Palace on Wednesday and, depending on the result, will play in a third place playoff or final match against either West Bromwich Albion or Leicester on Saturday.

New signings Mohamed Salah and Dominic Solanke are among the 25 players chosen to travel, but the fit senior players who’ve been left in Liverpool must now see their future away from the club.


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Sadio Mané and Danny Ings are still recovering from injury and have stayed at Melwood to continue their comeback, but four other players will spending as much time looking for new clubs as they will doing pre-season work.

Here’s a look at the players who could be in their way out of Anfield, where they could end up, and how their departures could affect Liverpool.

Mamadou Sakho

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French centre back Sakho enjoyed a successful spell on loan at Crystal Palace towards the end of last season, but the London club have since baulked at the price tag Liverpool have placed on the defender.

They’ve turned to other targets such as Jairo Riedewald and Bruno Martins Indi, and if the latter signs they would probably end any interest in Sakho.

However, with Martins Indi strongly linked to Stoke, Palace could come back in for the Liverpool outcast towards the end of the window.

He might also be used as a sweetener in the ongoing saga involving Klopp’s side and Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk.

In theory he’s the ideal replacement for the Dutchman on the south coast, but any potential buyer will be suspicious as to why Liverpool are so desperate to get rid, and why they have exiled him in this manner.

Palace, however, already know the player, his strengths, and his weaknesses.

The Football Whispers Index score of 3.0 makes the Eagles the current favourites to sign him.

Lazar Markovic

Once one of the brightest young attacking talents in Europe, Markovic’s form dipped markedly during his time at Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers, and the Serbian has struggled to regain it since.

He did show encouraging signs during his time on loan at Hull last season, and there are hints that some of the unpredictability and attacking flair is returning to his game.

But Liverpool are still looking to move the player on and the man who managed him at Hull last season — Marco Silva — is thought to be interested in signing him for his new club, Watford.

With a rating of 3.5 on the FW Index, the Hornets seem like the most likely destination for the winger but Zenit St Petersburg (3.0) are also in the running.

Sheyi Ojo

While Solanke is already playing a prominent part in Liverpool’s pre-season games, fellow U20 World Cup winner Ojo looks set to have his hopes of a first team role dashed.

Some eye catching performances in an England shirt this summer will have had the 20-year-old thinking he’d impressed enough to get more game time this season, but it seems Klopp will instead choose to send the player out on loan to get minutes.

Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle are rumoured to be interested in signing Ojo on a permanent basis, but with Liverpool preferring a loan move in order to keep an eye on his development, Middlesbrough could be the more likely destination.

A FW Index score of 3.4 reinforces this idea, but Newcastle will continue to test Liverpool’s resolve for the highly rated winger.

Pedro Chirivella

Pedro-Chirivella-Liverpool-midfielder

Former Valencia youth product Chirivella could be the bargain of the bunch, and after the time he spent on loan at Eredivisie side Go Ahead Eagles, Liverpool now seem to want to move him on permanently.

Impressive performances against Tranmere Rovers and Wigan Athletic in the club’s first two pre-season friendlies have made fans sit up and take notice of the clever midfielder, but it appears that the management see his future elsewhere.

The 20-year-old is a tidy passer and a lively if not pacy player who can operate in deep lying roles, but has also shown an ability to drift into attacking areas at the right moments.

He’s so under the radar that there isn’t so much as a sniff of a transfer rumour surrounding his name, but he’d be a great signing for a lower level club looking for a reliable potentially high level player on the cheap.

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