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At first glance, the notion of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp unloading any of his players may seem fanciful in the extreme.
After all, the Reds are continuing to compete at the top of the table, while the recent injury to Philippe Coutinho has left a relatively small squad of players even more threadbare.
Klopp is a focused and deceptively ruthless manager, however, and one who knows which players can contribute to his unique (and not to mention demanding) style of play and those who cannot.
With this in mind, the upcoming January transfer window may see him offload some of this players, particularly if he his able to strengthen the squad with subsequent purchases.
So, let’s take a look at three players who could well find themselves on the way out of Anfield this winter (either permanently or for the foreseeable future at least): –
While the 24-year old left back initially impressed after previous Reds’ boss Brendan Rodgers signed him from Sevilla in the summer of 2014, he has fallen dramatically out of favour with the single-minded Klopp.
This is largely due to his lack of defensive focus and positional sense, which far outweighs his pace and ability to provide an attacking outlet either as a full back or in a more advanced wing back role.
Indeed, the fact that midfielder James Milner is preferred to Moreno at left back seems to speak volumes, with the Spaniard seemingly paying the price for a series of individual errors and a particularly disastrous performance during the 4-3 win at Arsenal on the opening day of the season.
Now surplus to requirements, the smart money is on a swift exit for Moreno as Klopp seeks out defensive reinforcements in the window.
It seems like a matter of time before Moreno moves away from Anfield, with a return to Spain his most likely option.
What are the chances? – 9/10
Former Manchester United player and pundit Gary Neville may have a penchant for upsetting Liverpool fans, but his frank assessment of young goalkeeper Loris Karius in the wake of the 4-3 defeat at Bournemouth seemed fairly accurate.
After a further error cost the Reds two points at home against West Ham United the following week, Karius was dropped for the midweek clash with Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium and seems set for a spell on the sidelines.
There are even rumours that the young German stopper may be poised for a short-term loan move away from Anfield, so that he can be removed from the spotlight and develop his game elsewhere.
This would mean the more experienced Simon Mignolet remaining as Liverpool number one for the rest of the season, as veteran and former Arsenal keeper Alex Manninger assumes his place on the bench.
Talented youngster Cameron Brannagan is already poised for a January loan move, and Klopp may well feel that Karius would also thrive by building his experience and confidence in a less pressurised environment. He is also a Klopp signing, however, meaning that the manager may well give him the remainder of the season to prove his worth.
What are the chances? – 6/10
After the tumultuous and acrimonious departures of both Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez during the reign of Brendan Rodgers, the idea of selling Daniel Sturridge may seem absurd.
After all, the immensely talented front man formed an almost unstoppable partnership with Suarez during the Red’s heroic title tilt in 2014, as he plundered an impressive 21 goals in just 29 league outings.
Sturridge has made just 34 league appearances in the two-and-a-half years since, however, as doubts concerning his fitness, attitude and work-rate have persisted ever since Klopp replaced the outgoing Rodgers.
So even in the enforced absence of Coutinho, Klopp has chosen to start with Belgian striker Divock Origi, suggesting that Sturridge lacks the energy and the mobility to implement his aggressive, front-foot pressing style.
Sturridge clearly has immense talent and goal scoring ability, and Klopp is probably loathe to sell such a uniquely gifted footballer. He does not seem to fit the German’s demanding philosophy, however, while Klopp may also be inclined to sell Sturridge before his notoriously fragile body breaks down again.
What are the chances? – 7/10
So there you have it; three players who could find themselves surplus to requirements at Anfield this winter (at least for now).
If you think we have missed anyone or would like to share your thoughts, let us know in the comments below!
Written by Lewis Humphries
Follow Lewis on Twitter @LewisRHumphries
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