Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp promised an Anfield clear-out ahead of the new season, and he has delivered.
Eleven players have left the club on a permanent basis this summer – namely, José Enrique, Samed Yesil, Kolo Touré Jordan Rossiter, Joao Teixeira, Jerome Sinclair, Sergi Canos, Jordon Ibe, Brad Smith, Martin Skrtel and Joe Allen.
While most of those were expected, allowing the likes of Smith and Ibe to leave permanently, as opposed to on loan deals, did raise a few eyebrows. However, those two did leave for a combined £21m, and Liverpool do have a buyback option should they progress to a level that Klopp deems worthy of it.
In all, the Reds have made around £46m from player sales, but they are not done yet. There are still a few fringe players in the squad who are very much up for sale.
It’s easy to forget that Balotelli is still a Liverpool player, given his lack of interaction with the rest of the squad. Banished to train with the youth side, the 25-year-old has had no involvement in the pre-season campaign whatsoever.
Klopp has told him to find a new club, but doing so is proving problematic. A number of clubs have expressed an interest in the striker, but most of them can’t afford him.
Liverpool want him of the books permanently, but may have to settle for another loan dealin an effort to remove him from Melwood. Even then, convincing him to take the step down could be a challenge.
Once heralded as one of Europe’s brightest prospects, injuries, poor form and Brendan Rodgers’ tactics have all contributed to Markovic’s star falling massively in the past 2 years.
He spent last season on loan on Fenerbahce, and although he showed flashes of quality in Turkey, injury ended his season early. As such, he did not have much of an opportunity to show Klopp what he could do.
He has been involved to some extent in the pre-season campaign, but one gets the impression that if Liverpool get a reasonable offer for the Serbian winger, they would be prepared to cut their losses.
It’s hard not to feel sympathy for Christian Benteke. Signed from Aston Villa last summer for £32.5m, it was obvious at the time that he didn’t fit into what Rodgers was trying to do at Anfield.
Any hope he had of establishing himself as Liverpool’s main forward was then torn apart when Klopp replaced Rodgers in October.
Primarily used as Liverpool’s Plan B, Benteke found himself behind Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and even makeshift forward Robert Firmino in the pecking order. As such, his stay at the club was always likely to be a brief one.
Crystal Palace are in talks to sign the Belgian international, as are West Brom as of Thursday, and with Liverpool set to break even on the player, this at least will not have been too expensive a mistake.
Another who has fallen off the radar in a big way recently, Luis Alberto is technically entering his fourth season as a Liverpool player.
Signed by Rodgers in 2013, Luis Alberto made 9 Premier League appearances before being shipped off to Spain on loan for two years.
The attacking midfielder is almost certain to return to La Liga in the coming weeks, although speculation around him has gone bizarrely quiet since a move back to Sevilla broke down.
Could yet end up in the Championship, but at this point a return to his homeland seems more probable.
Although there have been exceptions, players rarely go on loan for three consecutive years and come back to a first-team role in their parent clubs. More often than not, they are forgotten about.
Wisdom has spent full seasons at Derby, West Brom and Norwich since 2013, and considering he wasn’t able to nal down a place at the latter, in a team that were relegated from the Premier League, it would not bode well for his chances.
There is a slight possibility that he could be kept on for cover at full back, but with Klopp seemingly preferring James Milner in that role, even that possible redemption looks to have been lost.