Are you ready for a summer of pain and suffering? Transfer season has almost officially arrived, which means we are now going to be beset by endless drama between players, agents and clubs. Some of them might even be real and not just pure clickbait.
For the first time in seemingly quite a while, Liverpool are going to be at the center of several big transfer stories for players leaving the club. For the first time in years, the Reds are very likely to see one of their key players sold.
Liverpool have not sold a key member of the squad since the infamous Philippe Coutinho scam of January 2018. This is extremely unusual, particularly for a club like Liverpool who have sought to capitalize on maximum player value while by looking for undervalued players to bring in as substitutes.
Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic has turned things upside down. As Liverpool headed for their first Premier League title in 30 years in the 2019-20 season, many believed one of Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah would be sold that summer when he was at his peak. Instead, the pandemic happened and the global football transfer market came to a standstill. Liverpool’s expected overhaul has been put on hold, at least as far as outgoing players are concerned. The club were always looking for talent to bring in, but didn’t hesitate to let key players go. Instead, Michael Edwards and Liverpool’s backroom staff have been rolling and distributing reserve and Academy players to couple the gains of league victory, the Champions League and the general advancement dollars to fund incoming moves.
We finally saw the first vestiges of meaningful change last year when Georginio Wijnaldum was cleared after a season that saw him as one of the few players able to stay healthy for a period of time. significant. Until this season, Gini had been a vital cog in Jürgen Klopp’s midfield, helping to maintain possession and doing a huge amount of positional dirty work. The signing of Thiago Alcantara appeared to signal an intention to move the midfielder forward but the Spaniard was sidelined at the start of the season against Everton and returned to an injury crisis which has seen every senior team viable and fielded Academy player. Meanwhile, Wijnaldum continued playing until the end of his contract. He and Liverpool couldn’t agree on wages or the length of a new contract, so he agreed a fantastic contract with PSG, much to the chagrin of many Liverpool fans. Despite this, Liverpool were finally able to implement their new midfield form with Thiago as a key man for Klopp.
This summer, however, Liverpool fans brace themselves for a lot more pain as contract situations for their much-vaunted top three run out. Sadio Mané has said he is ready for a new challenge, with Bayern Munich being the most likely destination. Despite being only 30 years old, the Senegal striker enjoyed one of his best seasons, showing his remarkable versatility as he transformed into one of the best centre-forwards in the game over the winter and of spring. With just one year left on his contract, the German club are looking to land Mane on the cheap, but Liverpool are resisting letting him go for a pittance meaning we could be in for an extended saga this summer. .
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s other star striker, Mohamed Salah, has been in negotiations with the club for a contract extension for a year now, with apparently no end in sight. Salah himself has come out and said he’ll be at Liverpool next season, but there’s a growing chance he’ll choose to terminate his contract before making a big move to Sportswashing United…um…Newcastle United.
The other OTHER striker, Roberto Firmino, performed well last season while healthy but struggled to stay fit and get a regular role. He looks more likely to stay on an extended, albeit likely reduced, contract, however, as he moves into a more reserve role.
There are plenty of other players seemingly on the move this offseason, but none of the same importance as Mané or Salah. Divock Origi has never been a regular starter, but he can only be considered a club legend for his penchant for scoring on big occasions, and he has already left the club for AC Milan, his contract expiring this summer.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has seen his role diminish, rarely seeing the bench in the second half of the season, and will likely be looking for a new home this summer as well. Links continue to emerge around Joe Gomez heading to Aston Villa for a chance to play regularly after proving he still has plenty in the tank despite dropping to fourth on the centre-back depth chart . Conversely, some sources say Gomez is close to signing a new deal with Liverpool.
Either way, the winds of change are finally swirling around this Liverpool side in a meaningful way.
There is talent on the wings waiting to step in and take over, and important inward moves are being talked about in midfield and in the forward line as the club look to create a new, younger core. I have supreme confidence in Liverpool’s scouting department, which has shown time and time again that it can analyze the litany of players to find the one (and a few others for good measure) who will fit into the roles required by Herr Klopp. . Succession planning is necessary.
It is necessary to leave the players you have come to love in order to prepare the club for the future. But damn it, it’s going to hurt a lot to go from this wonderful, fun and lovable group of players who turned Liverpool into an absolute juggernaut.