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Monday, August 3, 2020

The 10 players on loan from Liverpool this season – and how they are doing


Quick reads

With Liverpool flying high in the Premier League, some of the club’s marginal players have been forced to lend in search of regular first-team football.

A handful of young Reds have sought minutes to prepare them for Euro 2020, while others are not that far on their career path.

Here’s how they all get along so far. Spoilers: some were more productive than others.

Allan

After joining Liverpool in 2015, problems with work permits prevented Allan from showing up for Liverpool.

The Brazilian spent 2019 at home with Fluminense on loan before finally completing a permanent transfer from Anfield, joining Atletico Mineiro in January.

Taiwo Awoniyi

The Nigerian striker Awoniyi is no stranger to borrowing the moves, having been sent away from Anfield five times before the start of the 2019-2020 season.

He made six in August, joining Jurgen Klopp’s former Mainz club with a one-year deal that aims to replicate the fine goal record of his time with Mouscron in Belgium.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out yet. Awoniyi has not yet completed 90 minutes in the Bundesliga, starting a game and leaving the bench for another five, and is still waiting for his first Mainz goal.

Rhian Brewster

The England Under 21 striker finally made his Reds debut in September, after seeing his 2018-19 season decimated by injury and played three times in total for the first team.

With Liverpool’s top three snatching the Premier League and Divock Origi offering a solid reserve option, Brewster took the opportunity to spend the second half of the season in Swansea under Steve Cooper, with whom he won the World Cup. Under 17 with England in 2017.

Brewter made his swan debut in the South Wales derby against Cardiff, playing 90 minutes in a fiery goalless draw.

Ovie Ejaria

Debutant in Klopp’s first season of Liverpool, Ejaria took second place as Liverpool strengthened and became European champion.

The midfielder is still only 22, however, and he impressed Reading enough in the second half of last season to allow the Royals to extend his loan for another year.

This season brought more regular football, with Ejaria having played 22 league games and scoring three goals.

Kamil Grabara

Another to exit the league, Polish Under-21 goalkeeper Grabara was picked up by the newly relegated Huddersfield for a season in the second tier.

Perhaps he was more busy than expected, with the Terriers flirting with a second relegation under Jan Siewert and his replacement Danny Cowley, averaging more than two saves per game.

With Adrian and Caoimhin Kelleher both in action in cup competitions, the 21-year-old could very well be aiming for Liverpool’s debut next season if he manages to impress for the rest of his time in Yorkshire.

Marko Grujic

Jurgen Klopp’s first signing of Liverpool passed the halfway point of a two-year loan with Hertha Berlin, and there were hints that the German club could try to make the move permanent.

The Serbian midfielder is still only 23 and has played in 15 of Hertha’s 17 league games this season, trying to take advantage of last season’s midseason goal.

Grujic has not appeared in the Premier League since December 2017, but the Reds may still decide to give him another opportunity next season.

Sheyi Ojo

More than eight years after joining Liverpool as a 14-year-old, Ojo doesn’t seem close to returning to the first team action at Anfield.

One move on Rangers is the Englishman’s fifth loan spell away from his parent company, none of which saw him set the world on fire.

The winger plays at least semi-regularly with Steven Gerrard, scoring four times in the Europa League, but that debut with Klopp in 2016 looks like a long time ago.

Nat Phillips

The young central defender Phillips was called up by a loan spell with Stuttgart to earn Liverpool’s debut and, after a shaky start in the English Cup game against Everton, played his part in an impressive win for a XI under force.

The 22-year-old had played 11 games for his club on loan, nine in the 2. Bundesliga and two in the cup, while Die Roten pushed for immediate promotion back to the top flight.

He returned to Germany in January, with Klopp deciding that Liverpool have enough defensive coverage and will see the rest of the season at second-tier Stuttgart.

Harry Wilson

The only Premier League beneficiary on this list, Wilson started out as a train to Bournemouth but saw his form mirror that of the struggling south coast club.

The Welshman scored twice in his first two games of Cherries and had seven at the end of November, but hasn’t found the net since then. That goalless run also included a spell on the sidelines, but Bournemouth has only one point and one goal from four games since his Boxing Day return.

Liverpool should still be happy with Wilson’s playing time and the start-of-season form, and will try to get back in shape before the European Championships.

Ben Woodburn

Another Welsh international, Woodburn looked set to recover from last season’s struggles until the injury hampered his plans.

The forward only played eight games for Sheffield United last season, but had already beaten that for the Oxford United loan side before suffering a broken foot in October and a further setback during his recovery.

He is well on his way back to February, where he will try to add to his one goal and five assists, but will face a tough battle for Euro 2020.


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