Fantasy Football

Liverpool to refresh the squad in the offseason with key player departures

Liverpool can go 25 points clear of Manchester City on Saturday with a win over Norwich City. Jurgen Klopp’s team are on its way to a first league title in 30 years and still have a chance to win the FA Cup and Champions League trophies.

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However, reports indicate that the Reds will not rest on their laurels and the offseason will see key player departures. One player that is linked with a move away is forward Roberto Firmino. Of course, any mention of Firmino leaving for pastures new will have the club’s supporters up in arms. Yet, Firmino’s name has been linked with Bayern Munich who are desperate for an overhaul in Germany.

How desperate are they?

The club have earmarked Firmino as the perfect addition after their loan signing of Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona has fallen flat. Football 365, state Liverpool are “desperate” to sign Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz and selling Firmino is the way the move will be funded.

With the windfall of money Liverpool will make from winning the Premier League and potential sales elsewhere, it seems silly to state Liverpool are “desperate” to sell a player that has been integral to their success since Klopp arrived. It seems this week the media has got onto a ‘Firmino to be sold’ angle. It is difficult to believe such an important player would go, especially it being the man who links together the front three. Of the three forwards, Firmino is the one that seems most irreplaceable.

Liverpool will see midfielder Adam Lallana leave as his contract expires in the offseason. Nathaniel Clyne will also be out the door due to his contract coming to an end. Meanwhile, it looks more and more likely that Xherdan Shaqiri will also be ushered out the door. He has struggled through injuries and form at Anfield. This season has seen Shaqiri play well but his time has been limited by reoccurring injuries. Dejan Lovren is expected to go as well.

Kai Havertz and Philippe Coutinho

Havertz’s name is the latest to continually be linked with Liverpool. The 23-year-old Bayer Leverkusen midfielder is a fantastic talent. But would his addition block the path of the youngster such as Pedro Chirivella and Curtis Jones from seeing Premier League game time?

There are also rumours of Countinho coming back to Liverpool, which seem to be ridiculous. Not only could Countinho not get into the Barcelona side last season, but he cannot get into the Bayern Munich team now.

Anyone who watched Bayern Munich draw nil-nil with RB Leipzig over the weekend will have seen Coutinho’s second-half cameo. Or maybe they wouldn’t due to Coutinho being completely anonymous on the pitch.

Coutinho has reverted back to the player he was before Liverpool signed him. As the excellent book from Paul Tomkins, Mentality Monsters, eluded to, Coutinho benefitted in his first six months from his fitness and form at Anfield. Sure, he could rekindle that form and fitness, but why go backwards by re-signing a player that wanted to leave so badly?

Liverpool certainly will need a few players in the summer and if the rumours of Coutinho returning are not maddening enough, there are the links of Kylian Mbappe to Anfield. 

Michael Edwards and his team are already plotting the next move. But will it hurt the team in the long run? The transfers committee’s work speaks for itself. However, cashing in on Firmino at this point may not be the wisest move.