There have been some surprises as Liverpool confirmed their squad for the group stages of the Champions League, as UEFA revealed the list of players included. In a shock move, right-back Nathaniel Clyne has been left out as he seeks to overcome ongoing injury issues with no return date yet set.
Philippe Coutinho has been included despite ongoing speculation about his future, whilst youngsters like Ben Woodburn, Rhian Brewster, Cameron Brannagan and Ovie Ejaria have also been included to help fulfill the homegrown quota required for the competition.
One player left out was winger Lazar Markovic, and Turkish newspaper Turkiye report that he could return to former club Fenerbahce for a second loan spell with the Turkish transfer window still open. They are reportedly hoping to take him back to Turkey with no chance of Liverpool game time.
Markovic is clearly not in Jurgen Klopp’s plans for the coming season, but the Reds will still be hoping to shift him on a permanent basis rather than yet another loan spell. After failing to earn a permanent move despite an impressive loan spell at Hull last season, their chances could be low.
Markovic’s signing was one of the biggest mistakes of the Brendan Rodgers era, and the now Celtic boss has spoken about his time at Anfield, describing the atmosphere as manager of the club. Rodgers is quoted by the Liverpool Echo as saying:
“I came as close as anyone there to the holy grail of winning the league. That season, with the fans, it was special… When I came out of Liverpool I needed a break. It was so intense. It was draining. We moved to London just to come away from it… But I had come out of one of the biggest institutions in the world and I had to find that pressure again. I’ve got that now. With Liverpool you can go away from home and draw and that’s OK. But Celtic, you have to win every game. It’s a different pressure.”
Such comments are only likely to frustrate Liverpool fans, many of whom were furious when Rodgers decided to drop several key players like Steven Gerrard and Philippe Coutinho for a visit to the Bernabeu in the Champions League in 2014.