With the majority of the criticism of Liverpool’s recent failures focusing on squad depth, are there players out on loan who can still have an impact at Anfield?
The club has sent out many players on loan until the end of the season to various teams around Europe, but there are some closer to home. These are not lesser-known players, yet have a point to prove if they are to feature in Klopp’s future plans.
Ironically, with Liverpool’s poor defensive performances gaining a majority of the criticism, they do have players who I think personally can turn this negative aspect around.
To begin with, goalkeeper Danny Ward, who has featured 31 times for Huddersfield in their largely successful season so far. His side has conceded 35 goals, the sixth best record from the 24 Championship teams, and Ward has helped them to third place as they push for promotion. Ward is working under Klopp’s friend David Wagner, and seeing Liverpool’s goalkeeper struggles this season can only be a positive sign for the Welsh shot-stopper. At 23, Ward has a bright future ahead of him, having previously shone on loan at Aberdeen in his earlier Liverpool days.
Moving into defence, Jon Flanagan is a somewhat forgotten name around Merseyside, yet his 2013-2014 league heroics will live long in the memory of Liverpool fans. Flanagan, who signed a new deal with the Reds to keep him at the club until 2019, has however only featured eight times for Burnley this season. A right back at trade, he has seen his original position replaced by Nathaniel Clyne and the emergence of Trent Alexander-Arnold, however he is remembered for filling in at left back in the year the title almost returned to Anfield. With James Milner the current reformed left-back, the Merseyside-born Flanagan could return to allow Milner his desired position, providing a more stable side for Jurgen Klopp.
Finally, in an attacking sense where goals are beginning to dry out, Lazar Markovic has one last chance to prove his worth to Klopp with his latest loan spell, at Premier League Hull. The speedy winger never really settled at Liverpool, but by working under the impressive Marco Silva, he now has the opportunity to show his worth in English football. It was of course Klopp’s predecessor Brendan Rodgers who completed the £20m signing, yet Klopp still has his eyes set on a return to Anfield for the Serbian.
These players, along with others out on loan, have been given a second chance after initially finding themselves out of favour at their parent club. But with Liverpool once again pushing for European football, greater squad depth may just allow these players to find their feet at Anfield and become quality and essential players in a long season of football.