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Five Liverpool players have now confirmed their permanent departures as Jurgen Klopp clears the cards



Five Liverpool players have now confirmed their permanent departures as Jurgen Klopp clears the cards

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is expected to reform his squad in the summer and a number of players have already been pushed out of Anfield

After a turbulent season, Jurgen Klopp is about to embark on a major overhaul of his beleaguered Liverpool this summer.

Less than 12 months after the Reds had their hopes of an unprecedented quadruple sprint dashed, Klopp’s men are fighting to qualify for next year’s Champions League. But whether or not they finish in the top four, big changes are coming at Anfield

A revamp of Klopp’s midfield is in the works and a number of high-profile names have already been linked with a move to Liverpool: including Brighton talisman Alexis Mac Allister and Bayern Munich’s much-loved Ryan Gravenberch.

However, it’s not just incoming deals that Klopp and the Anfield hierarchy will have their sights set on this summer, with a slew of players leaving Merseyside permanently in the coming months.

Given Klopp’s desire to rebuild his midfield, it’s no surprise that most of the names expected to leave Anfield are players from that position. Arthur Melo has had no impact since accepting a deadline date loan in the summer and he confirmed earlier this week that he hopes to bid farewell to Liverpool fans before returning to Juventus this summer.

Fellow midfielders Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will also leave the club when their contracts expire at the end of the season. Both have been plagued by injuries and were linked with January transfers.

Join the debate! Where do you think Liverpool need to strengthen this summer? Let us know here. Roberto Firmino has already confirmed he will leave Liverpool at the end of the season

It also looks like James Milner will increasingly follow this trio out the door, with a move to Brighton being considered. The 37-year-old is also in the final year of his contract and Klopp made it clear in comments earlier this week that Milner was inclined to end his playing career elsewhere.

Finally, Anfield favorite Roberto Firmino has already confirmed he will be heading to new shores in a matter of weeks when his contract expires.

A host of other players, including defenders Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams, could also be sacrificed this summer to raise money for Klopp’s ambitious rebuild, although nothing specific has been confirmed. Summer signing Fabio Carvalho could also consider his future after making just one Premier League appearance since the start of the year.


Jürgen Klopp just threw down the gauntlet for one star as key Liverpool trait getting stronger

Liverpool’s form over the last eight games has seen Jürgen Klopp’s side go on the best run they have enjoyed all season. It has even put them in with a slight chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season, while seeing the resurgence of players like Curtis Jones and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

However, it has also coincided with Harvey Elliott taking a back seat and being a little bit forgotten about.

Before Liverpool’s unbeaten run, the 20-year-old had been ever-present in the Liverpool team, the last man to feature in every game of the season. But then he was not included in the squad to face Chelsea, and has since spent most of his time on the bench, featuring in just two of the last eight games for Klopp’s side.

READ MORE: Liverpool ‘registers interest’ in PSG man as Jürgen Klopp defender confirms he’s open to leaving

READ MORE: Brighton just sent Liverpool a Champions League reminder as Jürgen Klopp hopes for Everton repeat

It’s been a new challenge for Elliott. Part of it has undoubtedly been down to the new system Klopp has employed which requires a lot more defensive work from the right-sided midfielder. Another part of it has been the way Curtis Jones has been playing on the left side of midfield, with the academy graduate difficult to drop in this kind of form.

When Elliott has played, he hasn’t quite taken his chance either. Klopp showed faith in him by starting him against Tottenham but Elliott was the first to be subbed just after the hour mark.

And in the following game he was given just six minutes against Fulham.

Undoubtedly, a huge talent, Elliott still hasn’t quite found the right role for him in this Liverpool team. Not quite a midfielder, but also not quite a winger either.

Jürgen Klopp may just be resting Harvey Elliott, but there’s an implied challenge to the Liverpool star as well.

(Image: Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Admittedly, his best performances had come just before his exile from the team. He was notably impressive against Manchester United in Liverpool’s 7-0 demolition job. Often criticized for his defensive ability, there was definitely an improvement in that side of his game as well.

But then starts against Bournemouth and Manchester City, in which Elliott struggled to make an impact — just like the whole Liverpool team to be fair — seemed to derail his progress.

At 20 years old now, Elliott is no longer a teenager. Development in football is of course never binary, but he does face a pivotal and perhaps defining moment in his career.

He is at a age now where he needs to make a regular and consistent impact on the first team.

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Liverpool is going to be signing several midfielders in the summer in what is going to be a major revamp of the squad. The competition for spots in the starting XI is going to increase for Elliott, which is why next season he will need to step up his performance levels even more.

That’s no bad thing. Historically, this Liverpool side has been very hard to break into, and that key trait is returning. Klopp has thrown down the gauntlet in this respect by leaving out his erstwhile ever-present, and the challenge will ramp up when new signings come through the door.

Already, Elliott has averaged 0.28 goal contributions per 90 minutes for Liverpool this season, with five goals and two assists in total. To his credit, out of Liverpool’s midfield players, no one has averaged as many goal contributions in all competitions this season. Curtis Jones comes the second closest with 0.19.

Elliott clearly has a unique trait in the squad and plenty to offer. Perhaps, Klopp has simply decided to give him a bit of a rest, some respite after a gruelling season. Whatever the reason for his exile, one thing is clear. Elliott needs to seize his opportunity next season and build on his current campaign as he continues his development.