5 Players Who Could Leave Liverpool This Summer
Liverpool have had an extremely disappointing season by anyone's standards. Despite success in both the League and FA Cup, they have struggled in the league and are sliding further and further down the table.
The club is already starting to look towards the summer, where, inevitably, some players will move on.
Here are the five players most likely to leave the club this summer.
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Dirk Kuyt has seen his playing time diminish under Kenny Dalglish.
In two (one-and-a-half) seasons under Dalglish, Kuyt has made a total of 76 appearances. Prior to that, in the two seasons under Rafael Benitez, he played in 104 games.
Dirk Kuyt is indisputably one of the hardest working players in world football. He has been a loyal servant of the club since arriving from Feyenoord in 2006. However, under the new owners, the club is heading in a new direction. They are trying to clear the wage bill by selling old, under-performing and overpaid players.
TalkSport is already reporting interest from Italy while the Daily Mail says his former club, Feyenoord is also interested. At 31 years of age and with a limited role, Kuyt will most likely move on this summer.
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It is easy to forget that Aquilani is still a Liverpool player; the £25 million flop has only made 18 appearances for the club since his arrival in 2009.
The last two offseasons have been filled with failed attempts to find Aquilani a permanent home. In both cases, Liverpool have shipped him out on loan after potential suitors failed to reach their asking price. Liverpool have been hoping for £10 million for a player they horribly overpaid for; the reality is he was worth no more than £15 million in the first place.
Liverpool have reached the stage where they will accept almost anything to rid themselves of Aquilani. This is no reflection of his ability as a player; his slight frame was never suited to the rigours of the Premier League. He is a technically gifted footballer who thrives in the slower-paced Serie A in Italy.
I would be shocked if Alberto Aquilani was still a Liverpool player at the start of next season.
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Glen Johnson is the best attacking fullback in the world. There, I said it. The problem is, his defensive ability is terrible, a slight problem when you are a defender.
Johnson is one of Liverpool's most dangerous players going forward, where he is capable of the sublime, as his former club Chelsea found out earlier in the season. But for every highlight, Johnson seems to deliver a howler, caused either by overplaying the ball or being caught out of position. This cost Liverpool a precious three points early in the season against Norwich, where Johnson allowed Grant Holt a free header to equalise the game.
First and foremost, Johnson is a defender. He is paid to stop goals and it is for this he must be judged. Simply put, he is a defensive liability. Johnson is also preventing the development of talented youngsters Martin Kelly and Jon Flanagan at right back. With the Daily Mail reporting interest in Johnson from Real Madrid, all signs point to Johnson being sold this summer.
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The curious case of Joe Cole.
Despite flashes of brilliance, the most skillful player in Britain found playing time hard to come by at Chelsea. When his contract expired in the summer of 2010, he moved to Liverpool on a free transfer, a decision that initially seemed a master stroke. He would be assured of a starting berth and would be able to revive his career.
However, Cole's Liverpool career was over as quickly as it had started. In his Premier League debut against Arsenal, he made an unnecessary sliding on Laurent Koscielny, which earned him a red card and three-game suspension. Roy Hodgson appeared to lose faith in Cole, who struggled to regain his place in the side. Last summer, he was loaned to French club Lille, where he has experienced a resurgence.
Despite this, it appears as if Cole has severed his ties with Liverpool. He is enjoying life in France and the Daily Mail is reporting he is open to making his Lille move permanent. The Daily Mail is also reporting that Carlo Ancelotti at Paris Saint Germain is targeting Cole.
Whichever way you look at it, Cole will never be seen at Anfield again.
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If he would just stick to playing football.
In full flight, Luis Suarez is a beautiful player to watch. Unlike the other players on this list, his sale would not be due to poor performance.
Ever since his infamous goal-line handball against Ghana at the World Cup, Suarez has been shrouded in controversy. He has a growing reputation as a "diver" and received a one-match ban for an obscene gesture towards a group of Fulham supporters during the New Year.
However, it is the Patrice Evra scandal which has tarnished his reputation the most; he received an eight-game suspension for allegedly racially abusing Evra. This coincided with the team's form slump and the received harsh criticism for wearing t-shirts in support of their star player.
It would be a sad sight to see Suarez leave the club. However, the owners may decide he has become too much of a distraction and look to rid their hands of the troubled playmaker. They have already demonstrated their ruthlessness with the sacking of transfer guru Damien Comolli. Suarez may meet a similar fate this summer.
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The club will desperately try to move other players such as Maxi Rodriguez and Fabio Aurelio; however, I believe they will struggle to find suitors. They are not worth the money they are currently being paid and are unwilling to take a pay cut.
Any more dead certs to leave? Let me know in the comments below.