The January transfer window may have only just shut, but for some, thoughts are already turning to the summer, and what the club's transfer dealings may hold. Regardless of the outcome of this season, the summer transfer window will be massive for LFC, as a new Manager will take over from Jurgen Klopp. Managerial changes almost always herald increased transfer activity, and whilst the new Manager will inherit an excellent squad, with a mix of youth and experience, they will certainly want to put their own stamp on the team, and that means bringing in new players.
It also means players whose contracts are expiring face a nervous wait, unsure whether a new Manager will give everyone a chance to impress, or look to free up money from the wage bill, by letting players leave.
Liverpool has three first team players whose contracts expire in the summer, namely - Thiago Alcantara, Adrian, and Joel Matip.
Of the three, Joel Matip is the most likely to be offered a new contract, despite currently being injured. Matip ruptured his ACL several months ago, and although he will not play again this season, current Manager Jurgen Klopp spoke of the club 'doing the right thing by Matip', meaning they will support him through his recovery, and probably into next season. Of course, a new Manager might have other ideas, but Matip has been a loyal servant to Liverpool, since joining in the summer of 2016. He has helped the club win every major trophy available, and deserves the opportunity to prove his form and fitness, once his injury has healed. I expect a one-year deal will be offered to Matip, on reduced wages, with the option of a second year, if the player proves he has overcome the ACL injury.
As for Thiago and Adrian, their futures at Anfield are not looking so bright....
Time to bid farewell...
Sadly, there comes a time when a club must make hard decisions, and releasing players at the end of their contract is one of those situations. Liverpool did it with four first team players last summer, with James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Bobby Firmino, and Naby Keita all being moved on.
This summer, it seems inevitable that Thiago and Adrian will also be shown the exit.
Of the two, Adrian's situation is the easiest to understand. The experienced goalkeeper came close to leaving last summer, only to be offered a one-year deal to stay as third-choice keeper. Adrian knew game time would be hard to come by, but the chance to have one more season at Anfield was enough to keep him on Merseyside. As it turns out, Adrian has failed to make a single appearance for LFC so far this season, though he has been named on the bench for Cup and European games. Alisson and Kelleher will again be the first and second-choice keepers next season, whilst there are also several exciting young keepers coming through at the Academy, meaning Adrian will be surplus-to-requirements. Like Joel Matip, Adrian has played his part in Liverpool's recent successes, but his wages can be better spent elsewhere, so a free transfer at the end of the season is the best solution for all concerned.
Thiago's situation, on the other hand, is a bit more perplexing. One of the most gifted midfielders of his generation, he can see and play passes few other footballers can. His technical ability is second to none, and having played at Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Liverpool, he has a vast wealth of knowledge and experience to pass on to the younger players. Sadly though, injuries have taken their toll, with the player making just one appearance this season. With weekly wages of £200,000, Thiago is a luxury Liverpool would love to have, but simply can't afford. If he were fit and playing regularly, I would support a new one-year contract (similar to Matip), but the likelihood is Thiago will spend most of next season injured as well, especially if he stays in a physically demanding league, like the Premier League. A fond farewell and a final payday in an easier league, such as America or Saudi Arabia, is the best solution, and the most likely way Thiago's story will end.
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... About The Author ...
Peter Farrell - Editor and Chief Article Writer, LFC - Back On Our Perch
Articles written by Author :: 352
Lifelong fan with a passion for all things Liverpool. First memory of football is watching John Barnes score a dramatic last minute equaliser in the FA Cup when he was 4. Feels lucky to be a part of the 'Klopp' era.
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