4 Liverpool Youngsters Who Could Benefit from Loan Spell Next Season
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has done a fine job in bringing through a host of young players in his first season at Anfield, but the Reds boss is certain to strengthen further in the summer transfer window with a few more senior names.
While not an abandonment of those who have played their part this season, it certainly could impact upon their ability to figure heavily at the beginning of next season.
As such, there are a few youngsters at the club who would benefit hugely from a few months, or a full season, out on loan to another team. Here are four such names that could be playing their football away from Anfield next term—at least temporarily.
21-year-old Jonjo Shelvey has played 16 times for the Reds in the Premier League this season, but only one of those appearances has come since the turn of the year.
The aggressive and confident central midfielder has yet to really find out his best role—be it as a box-to-box player, a more central-attacking player or as a deep-lying player who can start moves and cover opposition runs, a role he has looked to perform recently for the under-21s.
Shelvey needs regular game time next season to see exactly what level he can reach, and he doesn't look like getting it at Liverpool right now. Turning 22 next campaign means it is a big one for him; he'll no longer be a "promising youngster" but instead a player who should be a regular part of a side. Liverpool need to determine if his level is good enough for them to be that side.
A season-long loan would be ideal, but even a half campaign elsewhere could be telling.
Left-back Jack Robinson should really have made more of an impact on the team this season, given the injuries and lack of form earlier in the season to regular left-back Jose Enrique and the lack of depth in that position.
That he hasn't done so indicates that he is not yet at the level required.
Robinson is currently enjoying a loan spell at Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he will see out the season, and another year in a similar role could aid him significantly if he can add 30 or 40 games experience to his career.
At 19 years old he is not yet beyond improvement, tactically and technically, and a regular spot in the team could have a profound effect on him, especially if Liverpool can get him into a top-flight team next season.
Possible destinations: Any Premier League team who need a left-back would be ideal. Failing that, the Championship once more—but preferably to a good, footballing side challenging near the top.
Suso has had a very good debut season overall, though like Shelvey has found first-team football hard to come by since the turn of the year, making just one appearance in all competitions since then.
A terrific technical player, Suso can play anywhere across the attacking midfield line or as a wide forward, and he simply needs further experience in the Premier League to get used to the pressure defenders will put him under and how to still show his abilities in those situations.
He's far from likely to get that at Anfield next season, given there will be at least six players ahead of him and more than likely no European football.
As with Shelvey, even half a season's worth of regular games could be hugely beneficial to Suso and to Liverpool in the long run.
Possible destinations: Swansea, Wigan, Southampton. Attack-minded sides who have a place in the team for a technique-based attacker, not just work-horses.
Holding central midfielder Conor Coady made his first-team debut earlier this season, but has been unable to add further appearances.
With Lucas Leiva, Joe Allen and Steven Gerrard all ahead of him, he will find it difficult to immediately break into the team, so he needs to get some realistic experience of being in a first-team environment, not just training with them. Coady is highly rated but has to show he can be an improvement on international players to get game time, not just be a promising local lad.
The only way to show that is by playing. A season-long loan would be most beneficial in this instance, unless the Reds suffered a major midfield shortage because of injury.
Possible destinations: Coady will likely have to try his luck in the Championship next term and show he is amongst the best at that level.