Liverpool’s defeat at the hands of Leicester City has resulted in all sorts of finger pointing from supporters and sections of the media. Just two months back the squad looked like title contenders but now a Europa League place looks more likely after a dramatic drop-off in both results and performances.
As cliché as it is, form is temporary and class is permanent. Squad depth is lacking in key areas and Jürgen Klopp doesn’t have the requisite quality of his disposal to execute his plans for the entirety of the season.
Recent reports now suggest there’s going to be yet another squad overhaul at Anfield with Klopp revealing after the defeat to the Foxes that players are playing for their futures.
“It's getting more serious now. We all play for our future, myself included. We get judged every day, especially on match days. Of course performances have influence on these things.”
It’s perhaps knee-jerk and shows how quickly football can move. Especially when you consider during the January transfer window many of the journalists with close ties to the club claimed the Reds were just two or three players away from having a squad able to sustain a top four push for the foreseeable future.
An overhaul suggests there will be players both arriving and departing. We take a look at four players who may be moving on in the summer and the reasons why.
“I have no idea what happens in the summer. It is not only Daniel but a lot of players,”
“Daniel was not in training for eight or nine days because of a virus infection. We have to bring him back to the best shape possible and then bring this season to an end as successfully as possible.
“Then we will make decisions and speak about Daniel and any other players about what will happen at the end of the season.
“A lot of things will influence this and we can speak about it when it is time.”
Regardless of what Klopp says, Daniel Sturridge's Liverpool career looks to be over. He's made just nine starts for the club this season with just the five coming in the Premier League. Injuries have no doubt played a part in this but they're one of the reasons the manager will more than likely move him on. He's just not reliable.
Couple that with the fact he seemingly doesn't suit the German's favoured system and what you're left with is a player who is one of the top earners at the club regularly sitting on the bench. It makes no financial sense for a club like Liverpool who look to be frugal in the transfer market.
There's been no in-between for Sturridge during his time on Merseyside. He went from totally irreplaceable to effectively not being needed within a season.
Emre Can may be on his way out of the club for a variety of reasons. The 23 year old, who was one of the players of the season in Klopp's debut campaign, has failed to reach the lofty heights of last season. His performances have come in for a lot of criticism as of late and the good he does is often overlooked. Fans have decided he's not good enough.
He's played numerous roles for the club this season so momentum has been hard to come by. But again, it's ignored. In the eyes of many he doesn't make the starting eleven when everybody is fit.
Liverpool may be forced to cash in on him after contract negotiations hit a brick wall. James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo claims the player wants more than the club are willing to offer and there's been a standoff ever since. The player has just the 12 months remaining on his deal come the summer and the Reds will be eager to cash in on him while they still can.
This one is perhaps the most obvious. Moreno is playing second fiddle at left-back to 31 year old James Milner. The former Manchester City man may have started the season well, and Liverpool were flying near the top of the table, but their form has fallen off a cliff and Milner's influence is waning.
Moreno might not be the most switched on defensively, as both Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville both like to point out, but Liverpool aren't in general. The team are conceding goals and on course to be breached close to 50 times this season without the Spaniard as a starter.
Furthermore, the attacking threat Milner originally posed down that left flank has been nullified.
Yet despite this, the 24-year-old former Sevilla full-back isn't getting a chance. If he's not getting an opportunity now, when the team are in desperate need of something different, then it's unlikely he's in the long-term plans of his manager.
His contract tuns until 2019 the upcoming summer may be their last chance to see a return on the reported £12million the club parted with to secure his services in the summer of 2014.
Leicester's last 4 Premier League goals vs. Liverpool:
— Virgin Media (@virginmedia) February 27, 2017
How many lives does Simon Mignolet have? He's in his fourth season at the club now and in three of those he's been dropped and tipped with a move away. He always gets a second-chance though and to date has ended the season as the club's number one.
This may happen again this season but it doesn't mean he should get yet another stay of execution in the summer.
The Belgian replaced Loris Karius in December after the German's performances came under a lot of scrutiny. Initially Mignolet looked to have used his time out of the first-team to improve on a few aspects of his game but not before too long he was back to his old ways.
As has recently been pointed out, he's been one of the constants in a side which has conceded over 180 goals in three-and-a-half-seasons. He's not solely responsible for this but he's played a part in a porous backline.
The Reds need to rid themselves of the temptation to recall the ‘keeper by parting ways with him in the summer. They then need to decide whether to fully back Karius or bring in a new, reliable number one.