Liverpool fringe players — should they stay or should they go?

While all the big names fill a starting berth on a regular basis, there are a few in the Liverpool squad whose roles in the first team are much smaller. Do they have a future at Anfield?

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With Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool team, you tend to see the same fifteen or so players regularly named in the starting XI, and understandably so.

In certain areas — such as the full-backs, for example — the names you’re almost always going to see are those of Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander Arnold.

There are a number of what you would describe as fringe players that rarely start games and make a limited number of appearances.

Here are five such members of the playing staff — but should they be kept at the club or should they be moved on?

Adam Lallana

The almost forgotten man at Anfield, Lallana stormed back into the limelight on Sunday with the late equaliser off the bench against Manchester United. The Englishman was one of the first names on the team sheet three years ago and seemed to be the perfect fit to Klopp’s gegenpressing style.


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Unfortunately for the midfielder two nasty hamstring injuries and the signings of Naby Keïta, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Xherdan Shaqiri thwarted his progress and saw him drop down the pecking order.

The 31-year-old brings something different to the midfield with his creativity and quick movement, which is something I think we do lack in some games. Klopp is a huge admirer and he is certainly a fantastic squad player to have.

But despite Lallana’s experience and likeability, the club don’t really need him and he would benefit from finding pastures new upon the expiry of his current contract at the end of the season.

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Xherdan Shaqiri

The 28-year-old Swiss international had an impressive first season with the Reds, culminating in him becoming a European champion for the second time.

After his move from Stoke City, Shaqiri quickly became a popular figure at Anfield and wrote himself into Liverpool history with a brace off the bench against Manchester United at Anfield. Not only did it earn three points, but resulting in José Mourinho’s sacking.

However, the start of this season hasn’t exactly gone to plan as he picked up a calf injury from which he is yet to recover. Game time has been lacking thus far this term but there is a feeling that, similar to last season, he will bounce back and could make a big impact in our title challenge.

Nathaniel Clyne

You’d be forgiven for forgetting that he is still at the club. The full-back was one of the Premier League’s hottest prodigies back in 2015 but his career trajectory has suffered a huge downward fall.

The 28-year-old has been severely hit by injuries in recent years, restricting him to just 10 appearances in the last two seasons. It’s such a shame to see but his injury gave the path to a young Trent Alexander-Arnold to enter the first-team fray, and we know what happened next.

One door closes, another opens and Clyne’s loan move to Bournemouth last January saw him make 15 appearances for the Cherries. Once he’s recovered from his current cruciate ligament injury he should still be able to find a new home and reignite his career.

Dejan Lovren

The big centre-half has dropped down the pecking order in recent seasons. Virgil van Dijk’s arrival, along with the growth of Joe Gomez and Joël Matip, has seen Lovren go from a regular first-team starter to fourth choice.

The Croat arrived at the club with a big reputation after a stellar first Premier League season with Southampton, but has failed to really put together consecutive good performances in Liverpool red. At the moment he is a long way off from a regular starting role in Jürgen Klopp’s side.

The 30-year-old’s time is nearly up at Anfield and a poor mistake in the Champions League against Genk hasn’t helped his cause. A move away in the next transfer window would help his career — he’ll be desperate for a place in his country’s Euro 2020 squad, and the Reds would be able to give the likes of Sepp van den Berg and Ki-Jana Hoever more opportunities.

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Rhian Brewster

The youngster is someone who definitely shouldn’t leave on a permanent basis, but could benefit from a loan spell with an EFL club.

Brewster has excelled in youth football and has recently been named on the first-team bench more regularly. Understandably, the 19-year-old is going to struggle to fix down a starting spot with Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi ahead of him, but it is getting to a time where he needs to be playing first-team football.

He has recently signed a new long-term contract with the club so they clearly have him as part of their plans but, in the meantime, a short spell away would help him develop as a footballer and as a man.

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