Liverpool Transfers: 7 Players Who Could Be Leaving This Summer
With Liverpool out of the cup competitions and facing an uphill task to qualify for Europe, thoughts have already turned to the makeup of the Reds' squad next season.
The usual long list of names will be linked with moves to the club, but what about those players who could leave to make way for them?
Brendan Rodgers is still looking for his squad to evolve, and so there are likely to be casualties along the way, with players shipped out as they are either not up to standard or can raise much-needed cash that can be used elsewhere.
Here are seven names who could exit Anfield. Not all will leave, but it is likely that some if not most of them will be looking for new clubs this summer.
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Still a Liverpool player in name only during his loan spell at West Ham, it is difficult to imagine Andy Carroll returning to Anfield to play a key role for the Reds in 2013/14.
Brendan Rodgers probably still needs to add another forward despite the arrival of Daniel Sturridge, and funds for that purchase could be raised by offloading Carroll―even if the size of the fee remains to be seen.
Just who'll take him off Liverpool's plans is unclear too, with West Ham perhaps not keen on a player who has scored just three goals for them this season, and Newcastle having moved on since his high-profile departure in January 2011.
Wherever he goes, Carroll looks destined to go down as an expensive mistake for Liverpool.
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Initially lauded as one of the finest young defenders in the world upon his arrival in the summer of 2011, things haven't quite worked out for Sebastian Coates at Liverpool.
That is largely down to a lack of playing time, of course, but when the Uruguayan has been called upon in recent months he hasn't looked too assured―most recently in the shock FA Cup loss at Oldham Athletic.
Coates is only 22, and there is undoubted quality there, but he would benefit from playing as much first-team football as possible at the moment.
Liverpool could easily sell him to raise funds, but if not then a loan move away would perhaps be beneficial to all parties.
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For much of the campaign he's been Liverpool's invisible man, and Moroccan Oussama Assaidi hasn't really seen his face fit at Anfield.
Bar a cameo appearance off the bench during the recent comeback attempt against Zenit St. Petersburg at Anfield, he has barely been seen at all recently, racking up just 57 minutes of Premier League football this season and only one appearance since October.
A £2 million arrival from Heerenveen last summer, Assaidi has shown glimpses of potential, but glimpses aren't enough; it is quite likely he'll be moved on in the summer.
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Liverpool's goalkeeping stalwart has found his position questioned this season, and perhaps both he and the club feel as though now might be the time to part ways.
A series of niggling injuries only seem to add to the feeling that Pepe Reina is no longer the impenetrable force he once was behind the Liverpool defence, and whilst Liverpool will have an incredibly tough job to find a goalkeeper who will serve them as well as the Spaniard has, maybe Rodgers will relish the search.
Reina's exit can't be ruled out.
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At the start of the season Martin Skrtel was being talked about as potentially a bedrock of Liverpool's defence for years, but he's had an uncomfortable campaign this time around.
The Slovakian was Liverpool's player of the year in 2011/12, but whether or not Rodgers' style of play has caused him trouble, he simply hasn't set that standard this time around.
He's still had his good games and chipped in with some goals, but after falling out of favour following the losses to Manchester United and Oldham in January, Skrtel reportedly came under fire from Rodgers (Daily Telegraph), and he might find it tough to fight his way back.
Should Liverpool get a good offer, potentially from one of the rich Russian teams, then they could well sell.
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Diminutive midfielder Jay Spearing has spent this season on loan at Bolton Wanderers in the Championship, and given the midfield changes going on at Liverpool it is difficult to see him coming back to Anfield.
Spearing started the FA Cup final loss to Chelsea last May, but he has never really figured too centrally in Rodgers' plans, and given that he is now 24 he'll need to move somewhere where he is guaranteed more first-team football.
That could be at Bolton, but it is almost certainly not going to be at Liverpool.
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He may have become a mainstay of the team in the past few months, but there remains a belief that Stewart Downing is on borrowed time at Liverpool and that time may come soon.
Like Carroll, he retains the stigma of the expensively assembled Kenny Dalglish and Damien Comolli days―Jordan Henderson is probably both young and talented enough to get away with it―and so with attacking reinforcements potentially coming in in the summer, he could find himself shunted to the sidelines, leading Liverpool to perhaps look to sell him.
They shouldn't make such a decision rashly given his ability, but Downing's days might be numbered.