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15th Jun 2017

Six players Liverpool should let leave this summer

Changes will be made to Liverpool's squad this summer

Robert Redmond

Liverpool’s first priority this season will be adding to their squad, rather than losing players.

However, Jurgen Klopp’s squad does need some surgery, after finding it tough going at times last season.

If Liverpool can add players to the team, here’s the players we think Klopp should let go:

Daniel Sturridge

When he’s on form, there are few, if any, better finishers than Sturridge. But the striker hasn’t had a consistent run of games for a long time.

Over the last three seasons, Sturridge has scored 25 goals in 69 games. In the 2013/14 season, when Luis Suarez and Sturridge were the most lethal strikers in the Premier League, he scored 24 goals in just 33 games.

The 27-year-old scored more than two-thirds of his goals in his first two and a half seasons at Anfield.

Jamie Carragher said last season that he thinks Sturridge is in decline and has lost his searing pace.

“I remember Michael Owen being in a similar situation when he had a lot of hamstring injuries, it’s when he goes to take off – have the legs gone or your just worried about pulling something?”

“He’s not the player to run in behind so forget replacing Mane it’s never going to happen – all he does is come to feet now.”

Sturridge didn’t seem like his former self on the rare occasions he played last season. In addition to his diminishing goal returns, and injury woes, the England striker also just doesn’t seem to fit into Klopp’s plans.

The Liverpool manager prefers to use Roberto Firmino, a deep lying forward who can link up play and press the opposition defence, in Sturridge’s position. There also seems to be a culture clash between them. Sturridge is individualistic, Klopp wants players to buy into the collective effort.

The striker would suit a club like West Ham, where the manager could find a way to build the team around him. Even if he was always fit and available, it’s doubtful that Sturridge would be a regular for Klopp. And does he want to be a back-up?

Sturridge is too talented to sit on Liverpool’s defence, but his fitness troubles and style of play makes him unsuitable to be first-choice in Klopp’s team.

Mamadou Sakho

Sakho is a very good defender, physically imposing, fast and underrated in possession. He was developing into an important player for Liverpool, until he tested positive for a fat burner by UEFA. The initial ban was later rescinded, but Sakho missed Euro 2016, where he was set to be a starter for France.

He then got on the wrong side of Klopp on Liverpool’s pre-season trip to the United States, and looks unlikely to ever play for the club again. Sakho showed in his short loan spell with Crystal Palace though that he could improve most teams in the Premier League.

The 27-year-old only played eight games, but was nominated for Palace’s player of the season – which both sums up how bad their season had been and how good Sakho was before injury ended his season.

Like Sturridge, he’s too good to sit on the bench. Or in Sakho’s case, too good to sit at home while Liverpool games are on.

Lucas Leiva

He’s the longest serving player in Liverpool’s squad, and popular amongst the squad and the fans, but Lucas could fall further down the pecking order if the club sign a new midfielder.

Lucas wasn’t first choice at any point last season, making 12 starts and 12 substitute appearances and was even used in defence six times. He might get more opportunities to play next season, with Liverpool back in European football, but after 10 years with the club, it seems like the right time for the Brazilian to leave.

Alberto Moreno

Moreno really should have left last summer. The Spanish full-back made 12 appearances and just two starts in the Premier League last season. Two starts. In the whole season.

Moreno lost his place to James Milner, a right-footed converted midfielder playing at left-back. He performed very well, but at times Liverpool could have used a left-footed full back with the pace to go beyond opposition defences, as Milner tended to cut back inside.

However, even against weaker teams at Anfield, who sat back against Liverpool, Klopp didn’t trust Moreno.

Jon Flanagan

Flanagan was excellent in the 2013/14 season, when Liverpool came second. He played at left-back, despite being right footed, and didn’t look out of place in a team containing Suarez, Sturridge and Steven Gerrard.

Flanagan’s form even earned him an England cap ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

However, he then suffered a knee injury and missed over a year of action. The 24-year-old year went on loan to Burnley last season, to try get some game time.

Flanagan only made six appearances, and three starts, failing to get a game ahead of Stephen Ward. Although he’s a fan favourite, the ‘Scouse Cafu’ probably needs to leave Anfield permanently to get regular football at this stage of his career.

Lazar Markovic

Yeah, he’s still a Liverpool player, but the Serbian winger is unlikely to be part of Jurgen Klopp’s plans next season. Markovic did okay on loan at Hull City last season, so there should be a few clubs interested.