As the Premier League prepares to take a week-long hiatus owing to the international break, the Reds find themselves sitting – albeit uncomfortably – just inside the Champions League qualification spot in fourth place.
It’s been a rather hit-and-miss season for Jurgen Klopp’s side, with an inconsistent Premier League campaign being punctuated by a fourth-round exit from the FA Cup at the hands of at Wolves and a semi-final defeat in the EFL Cup to Southampton.
At this point, anything but securing Champions League action for next season is unlikely to be accepted. And, with only one point separating second through fourth, the Reds still have the opportunity to turn their domestic season into their most successful campaign in three years.
Regardless of where they finish in the league table, however, the board and Reds fans are starting to demand a trophy-laden return on the significant investment they’ve made in recent years. Accordingly, the club will surely approach the off-season with a view to signing a number of key personnel as they push for silverware next year.
With some big names including Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Inaki Williams and Virgil van Dijk all being linked to Liverpool, it is more than likely that a number of players will also head in the other direction.
Today, we’re taking a look at the three players most likely to depart Anfield this summer.
You don’t need us to tell you that England international Daniel Sturridge has not had his best season in Reds colours. Ravaged by injury and falling out of favour to the likes of Roberto Firmino and Divock Orig in Klopp’s starting 4-4-3 line-up, the 27-year-old’s confidence is at an all-time low.
Kop legend John Barnes may have recently issued a plea for the striker to see out the remainder of his contract at Anfield, but Sturridge looks almost certain to depart in the summer: the best bookies in the country have West Ham as clear favourites to sign the forward at odds as short as 4/1 with William Hill – who are currently offering £30 in free bonus bets for new customers when they place their first bet of £10 or more – and 6/1 with Paddy Power. Arsenal, PSG, Spurs and Newcastle are also in the mix.
Despite having two years remaining on his Liverpool contract, Andre Wisdom seems almost certain to move on at the end of the current season. The Leeds-born defender has found his opportunities limited under both former Reds boss Brendan Rodgers and Klopp, spending the past four seasons on loan at Derby, West Brom, Norwich and Red Bull Salzburg, respectively.
Wisdom has struggled for game time at the Austrian Bundesliga leaders Salzburg this term, which must put his long-term ability to perform at the highest level into question. Don’t be surprised to see Wisdom move to the lower leagues in the summer in a quest to reprove himself.
Having made an £18 million move from PSG back in 2013, Mamadou Sakho was a regular fixture in the heart of the Reds’ defence under Brendan Rodgers and remains popular amongst the Liverpool faithful. However, the fiery Frenchman fell out of favour in pre-season after being late both for the team’s flight to the US and subsequent squad meetings. As a result of his discretions, Sakho was sent home in disgrace and dropped from the senior squad for the 2016/17 season.
Having joined Crystal Palace on loan back in January, Sakho has put together an impressive string of performances that will inevitably put him in the shop window for a permanent move come the summer.
Which players do you think are most likely to leave Anfield at the end of the current campaign? Let us know your picks in the comments section below.