Which Liverpool stars are impressing on loan?
The football season is well underway and for twelve Liverpool players it has meant having to go out on loan in order to impress and gain valuable first team experience. Breaking into the Liverpool first team is a tough ask, as players search far and wide across Europe for regular playing time. Liverpool players have been sent to a range of clubs across the continent from north west neighbours, Wigan Athletic, to the northern boundary of The Alps with Red Bull Salzburg.
Passionate Reds fans who buy Liverpool tickets to watch games live have a strong opinion on the matter. Liverpool season ticket holder, David Mitchell said: “The young stars on loan still have a bright future on Merseyside, but for some of them it is merely a matter of time before they are moved on permanently and shown the door at Anfield.”
There is no doubt that the Liverpool FC scouts have been casting an eagle-eye over the players and monitoring their progress. We have selected a handful of players who have attracted attention as they try to force their way into Jurgen Klopp’s plans come the start of next season on their return to Liverpool FC.
Danny Ward (Huddersfield Town):
There is plenty of promise surrounding the talents of Danny Ward at Anfield. The Wales international was part of the Wales Euro 2016 squad and the 23-year-old already has two Premier League appearances to his name.
However, with Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet fighting it out for the No.1 jersey, Ward’s chances would be limited. In order to continue his development, Klopp sent Ward to the Championship to hone his talents with his close friend, David Wagner at Huddersfield Town.
Ward is flourishing for the Terriers and has played in every match so far this season with the club sitting high in third place. The Welshman’s performances have certainly caught the eye with impressive saves and pin-point distribution, which is a key asset at Anfield for the modern day goalkeeper.
The former Wrexham stopper has conceded eighteen goals in sixteen matches and if he continues his good form he may have a long-term future at Anfield. Ward impressed last season on loan at Aberdeen in the SPL and he is doing all the right things so far in Yorkshire with Huddersfield Town.
Adam Bogdan (Wigan Athletic):
The Hungarian keeper was signed on a free transfer from Bolton Wanderers in 2015 to provide competition for Simon Mignolet. However, following the arrival of Loris Karius in the summer, the 29-year-old has been made surplus to requirements at Anfield.
The Reds have sent Bogdan on a season-long loan to newly promoted Championship side, Wigan Athletic in order to gain regular playing time. The stopper has played in every league match for the Latics to date, but that statistic is set to abruptly halt…
Sadly, an ACL injury has ended his campaign and he’ll be sent back to Melwood for rehabilitation.
Jon Flanagan (Burnley):
Local lad Jon Flanagan is a crowd favourite at Anfield and fans will be glad to see him back on the pitch after a torrid spell of injuries. However, with Nathaniel Clyne as first-choice right back, Flanagan has been sent to Premier League side Burnley on a season-long loan.
This is the first time that Flanagan has been out on loan and Klopp see’s the spell as a vital part of the 23 year-old’s road to recovery and playing in the top flight should benefit both Flanagan and Liverpool.
Flanagan has not been a regular under Sean Dyche and has had to remain patient for his opportunity. The Liverpool academy graduate featured once in the EFL Cup as Burnley suffered a shock defeat to Accrington Stanley.
However, the recent injury to Stephen Ward has allowed Flanagan to make three appearances so far in the top flight which includes a late victory against Everton and a goalless draw at Old Trafford against Manchester United.
‘Flanno’ will be hoping to impress further at Burnley and begin to nail down a regular starting spot under Sean Dyche.
Andre Wisdom (Red Bull Salzburg):
After three consecutive season long loans which included spells at Derby County, West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City, an Anfield exit seemed imminent for Andre Wisdom this summer.
However, another temporary move has followed and the 23-year-old has been sent to Austrian Bundesliga champions, Red Bull Salzburg for the campaign. The defender has struggled with injuries so far in Austria and has made just five appearance so far this term.
However, both Liverpool and Wisdom believe that the opportunity to ply his trade abroad is a good chance to experience a different culture and style of play.
A hamstring injury sidelined the defender for three weeks, but he has proved a valuable addition to the Austrian side. Wisdom’s versatility has allowed him to feature at both centre-back and right-back making three starts and earning two clean sheets.
Playing at Red Bull Salzburg also allows Wisdom to gain further experience of playing in Europe in the Europa League as his reputation continues to develop overseas.
Lazar Markovic (Sporting Lisbon):
The £20 million signing has failed to live to up expectations on Merseyside following his arrival in 2014. Brendan Rodgers sent Markovic out on loan to Fenerbahce last season, but after failing to earn a place in Jurgen Klopp’s squad on his return to Melwood, Markovic joined Sporting CP for the year.
It is fair to say that the Serbian has struggled so far in Portugal under Jorge Jesus in a move which was expected rekindle the form that persuaded Liverpool to sign the Serbian from Benfica.
Despite netting twice in ten appearances, Markovic has struggled at Estadio Jose Alvalade where he has played both left and right side of midfield, as a no.10 and even a second striker in an attempt to gain regular minutes. Inconsistent performances saw him dropped from the matchday squad against Arouca despite being fit and even being booed by Sporting supporters against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.
It has been a difficult start to life in Lisbon for the 22-year-old and there is plenty of work to do for the winger to add to his nineteen appearances for Liverpool.
Ryan Kent (Barnsley):
The 20-year-old is highly regarded at Liverpool and is certainly one for the future having made his debut against Exeter City in the FA Cup last season. However, in order to develop, Kent has had to move away from Anfield and he has been impressing at Barnsley so far this campaign.
The winger featured seventeen times last season for Coventry in the third tier, but he has impressed so far at Oakwell in the Championship, playing every game so far.
The Melwood staff have been keeping a close eye on his progress as the youngster continues his development in the second tier of English football. Kent has impressed with his creativity and attacking threat, however he is judged on goals and he will be looking to add to his tally at Oakwell with just one so far this season.
Kent seems primed to play a prominent role in Barnsley’s campaign, which offers promise for his Anfield future as he continues his rise towards the Liverpool first-team.
Also on loan: Jack Dunn (Morecambe), Lloyd Jones (Swindon Town), Allan Rodrigues (Hertha Berlin), Ryan Fulton (Chesterfield), Sam Hart (Port Vale), Taiwo Awoniyi (NEC Nijmegen).