Liverpool players on loan: How Elliott, Minamino, Grujic and Co. are performing
Jurgen Klopp perhaps wishes he had not allowed so many players to leave Liverpool on loan during a season that has been defined by injury issues.
The Reds have agreed no fewer than nine temporary departures during the 2020-21 campaign, including two during the January transfer window.
Here’s a look at how those players are faring away from Anfield.
The standout success of Liverpool’s loans this term, Harvey Elliott has quite simply been tearing it up at Blackburn Rovers.
At just 17 years old, the forward is one of Tony Mowbray’s key men in a division renowned for offering a test of a player’s physicality as much as their quality.
Elliott has never looked phase by the step up to senior football, and has five goals and nine assists to his name so far.
A video also recently emerged of the teenager scoring a goal from the halfway line in training – a fair summary of his precocious talent.
Marko Grujic had little choice but to leave for Porto on transfer deadline day as he faced up to the prospect of missing out on Liverpool’s league and European squads due to limitations on numbers.
The Serbian has largely been restricted to appearances off the bench in Portugal, with 10 of his 13 appearances in the Primeira Liga coming as a sub.
However, he showed he can be useful in that role in the biggest games only this week, making a strong cameo in a famous Champions League win over Juventus.
It remains to be seen whether the midfielder’s stay will be made permanent but, still just 24, he will surely attract plenty of interest over the summer if not.
A surprise departure on deadline day during the January window, Takumi Minamino has picked up some much-needed minutes at Southampton.
The Japanese has scored twice in four Premier League outings under Ralph Hasenhuttl, whose tactical setup looks to fit him perfectly.
Still, the Japanese can do little more than play well on the south coast as he looks to save his Reds career, and he has certainly done that so far.
Sepp van den Berg
Another January departure, Sepp van den Berg joined Preston North End as part of the deal that brought Ben Davies in the opposite direction.
More natural as a central defender, the Dutchman has found his way into the team in the unfamiliar position of right-back, but has been earning rave reviews from fans.
Preston have already agreed an option to take the defender on loan for next season and, if he continues as he has started, that could be the best option for both parties.
With his Liverpool career effectively over, Loris Karius needed to use his loan stint at Union Berlin to prove that he can still be a useful option for clubs elsewhere.
However, the German has managed just four appearances so far this season after failing to dislodge Andreas Luthe between the sticks.
The 22-year-old will still have another year remaining on his contract when he returns to Anfield but the chances of the Reds recouping a fee appear slim.
After an impressive stint with Bournemouth in the Premier League last season, Liverpool hoped suitors would be queuing up for Harry Wilson over the summer.
But the impact of the coronavirus pandemic meant the 23-year-old was forced to settle for another loan, this time to Cardiff City in the Championship.
A mid-season change of manager has not affected the winger’s involvement, and he has remained a regular starter during a run that has seen Mick McCarthy get the Bluebirds back in the promotion hunt.
Whether a return of four goals in 27 Championship outings is enough to spark a bidding war when this campaign comes to a close remains to be seen.
Shey Ojo, too, is on loan at Cardiff this season but, unlike Wilson, has noticeably suffered following a change in the dugout.
The 23-year-old has started just one of the last seven games under McCarthy, and could well struggle to force his way back into the team after what has been a fine run of results.
With little chance of regular football at Liverpool, the former MK Dons talent will have to do something to generate interest in his signature between now and the summer.
After impressing on loan at Huddersfield in 2019-20, Kamil Grabara returned for a second stint with Danish outfit AGF at the start of this campaign.
He has been a regular starter, but it would take a huge change of circumstance for him to be in the first-team picture at Anfield next term, particularly given the emergence of Caoimhin Kelleher.
He is not too concerned about that just yet, however, and recently said: “If I start thinking about where I’m going to play next season, I usually drop dramatically in my performances.
“That’s one of the things I’ve stopped even speculating about, and it’s working for me.”
Signed by Liverpool in 2015, Taiwo Awoniyi has played in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium across seven separate loan spells since.
His latest temporary departure took him to Union Berlin, where he has scored five goals in 19 appearances so far this season.
With two years remaining on his contract at Anfield, the Nigerian will have another decision to make on his future this summer.