Max Morland takes a look at how Liverpool’s loanees have performed this season with their respective clubs.
Despite Jürgen Klopp’s preference for including buy-back clauses in player sales, Liverpool has loaned out 12 players for the duration of this season. Whilst the international break puts a halt on Premier League action, I take a look at how these players are performing during their spell away from Merseyside.
For the second consecutive season, the Serbian international has been loaned out by the Reds after failing to make an impression in his first year at the club, having previously had a spell in Turkey with Fenerbahçe.
On his return to Liverpool in the summer, however, many fans had thought that he would fit well into Klopp’s system. Despite optimism from supporters, the German clearly didn’t share this opinion and Markovic was offloaded to Sporting CP.
Unfortunately, Markovic has been mainly consigned to substitute appearances after some underwhelming performances in the opening weeks of the season, although he recently managed to grab his first goal for the Portuguese club in a rare start against Vitoria Guimaraes last week.
The 22-year-old will hope that he can kick on after the international break and cement his place in the starting line-up.
Last season was one to forget for the Hungarian goalkeeper – after a series of almost comical errors, he not only became a laughing stock amongst opposition fans but was also exiled from his country’s Euro 2016 squad.
Newly promoted championship side Wigan, however, gave Bogdan a chance to redeem himself, offering him a year-long loan away from Anfield.
The 29-year-old has started every one of the Latics’ 11 league matches, managing to keep 3 clean sheets. However, the most notable event in the 29-year-old’s loan spell so far came in the 2-1 defeat to Norwich last month, where a terrible lapse of concentration allowed the Norwich striker to dispossess Bogdan and slot the ball into an empty net.
Aside from that error, Bogdan has put in some solid performances for his club, although a return to Liverpool seems unlikely.
On loan at Huddersfield Town for the season, Ward has produced some good performances and has been a major component in a defence which has conceded only 8 goals in 11 matches.
A highlight in the Welsh international’s loan spell so far came in an away fixture against Wolves last month. Ward produced a stunning late save to ensure the Terriers remained top of the table. In contrast to Bogdan, Ward, who is only 23, looks a good prospect for the future and if he continues his good vein of form, we could be seeing him back at Liverpool next season.
Three years ago, Jon Flanagan became a fan favourite after breaking into the Liverpool team that almost won the title. His all-action, tireless displays earned him the nickname ‘The Scouse Cafu’ and he was tipped as one of the best young full-backs in the country.
However, a number of long-term injuries have limited Flanagan’s appearances since then and a lack of match fitness and perhaps, enough quality saw the 23-year-old lose his place in the team. Could a year-long loan move to one of the league’s bottom clubs, Burnley, help the Scouser regain the sort of form that earned him an England call-up in 2014?
Well, in his spell for the Claret so far, Flanagan’s chances have again been limited – he has made only 1 appearance, which came in a League Cup defeat to Accrington Stanley. Currently, it seems as if Flanagan has his work cut out to find regular football in the Premier League.
Similarly to Flanagan, Andre Wisdom is a young fullback who was forced out of the club on loan, both to gain experience and develop as a full-back and is now on loan from the Reds at his fourth club in four years.
Unfortunately, Wisdom hasn’t been able to secure a starting spot for Austrian side FC Salzburg. The 23-year-old’s only start came in a 1-0 defeat in the Europa League, although, he was a late substitute in a 4-0 victory against Admira Wacker in the league.
Fulton is the third Liverpool goalkeeper on loan from the club this year, and some impressive performances so far have seen him secure a place in the starting line-up at League Two strugglers Chesterfield. The 20-year-old will hope that his good displays this season have caught the eye of Jürgen Klopp and persuade the German to give him a chance at Liverpool next year.
As a Swindon Town season ticket holder, I cannot stress how vital Jones is for the team this season. Not only is the 21-year-old a strong and talented defender, but he is also very composed and is able to bring the ball out from defence and start attacks. This could be a very useful trait should he find himself in with a chance of playing in the Liverpool first team in the future, which seems likely if he continues with his solid run of form this season.
That being said, Jones’ discipline has been as issue thus far, having picked up a number of yellow cards, as well as being dismissed against rivals Oxford last month. Jones currently is currently out of action with a short-term injury.
On loan at championship side Barnsley for the season, Kent has performed well so far, establishing himself as a starter for the Tykes and managing to score a fantastic goal against Rotherham in August. The 19-year-old will hope to continue his good form and add to his goals tally as the season progresses.
Unlike the other Liverpool loanees, Dunn’s loan spell at Morecambe will only last six months, but the young forward has so far made the most of his short stay at the League Two side, scoring six goals in fourteen appearances, including a hat-trick in the League Cup against Rotherham.
Dunn looks unlikely to have a future at Liverpool, but his performances this season will have done nothing to harm his chances of attracting the attentions of other clubs in the Football League.
The young left-back is on loan from Liverpool at League One side Port Vale and has made two starts for the Valiants so far. One of these was a league fixture against Millwall, a match in which the 20-year-old was a constant attacking threat, assisting a goal in the 3-1 victory. Hart kept his place in the team for the next game against Coventry, although he was unable to prevent his team from slipping to a 2-0 defeat.
Allan Rodrigues Da Souza
The young Brazilian midfielder, who is spending the season on loan at Hertha Berlin, has been described by Jürgen Klopp as an “outstanding talent”. At only 19 years of age, Allan has enormous expectations, and his spell in Germany should provide him with the experience and quality needed to break into the Liverpool first team.
The young Nigerian striker has joined mid-table Dutch team NEC Nijmegen on a season-long loan from Merseyside and has played in half of their league games so far. Despite not having found the net yet, Awoniyi, who recently turned 19, has put in some good performances, although he will hope to get on the scoresheet in the near future.