- Neil Critchley admits a number of key players could leave Liverpool in January
- U23s boss set to lose star men on loan deals
- Harry Wilson tops the list of those expected to depart in search of first-team football
- SEE MORE: Liverpool leading race to sign West Ham midfielder
Neil Critchley admits Liverpool’s U23s could see their title aspirations damaged by key players leaving during the January transfer window.
The table-topping Reds are set to lose a number of star men in the new year as the club’s accomplished youngsters seek regular first-team football.
A superb start to the season hit a disappointing but minor blip on Friday as Critchley’s side fell to a 3-1 defeat at home to Swansea City’s impressive U23s.
Speaking after the game, Critchley told the Liverpool Echo: “One or two of our players, or maybe more, might get that opportunity to go and dip their toe in senior football.”
“This might affect our results a little bit and we might not win the league.”
“Our aim is obviously to try and win it, but if it means we don’t and that some of our players get a challenge that they’re ready for, then so be it.”
Of those ready for the next step up, forward Harry Wilson tops the list having established himself as Critchley’s talisman over the past two seasons.
Having scored 28-goals during 2016/2017, the Welshman has since maintained his prolific form and, admittedly, been unfortunate not to have earned a first team opportunity.
After rediscovering his form following his injury-stricken loan spell with Crewe in 2015, the 20-year-old looks equipped to take his next shot at senior football.
Danny Ings, having played primarily for the U23s so far this season, is another contender to leave on loan as he looks for regular game time in the Premier League.
The striker has performed admirably under Critchley this campaign as he strives to regain some momentum after his second season-ending knee injury in two years at the club.
It would also come as no surprise were Marko Grujic and Ben Woodburn to leave on temporary deals after Christmas, with both being viewed by the club as potential first-team regulars.