At this stage of the season, I've always found it interesting to have a look at who's in the relegation zone across the European leagues and draw up a wish list of players who might be available at a bargain price if their current club is indeed relegated. This year is no exception, and so I've drawn up a Relegation XI that could soon be available.
Goalkeeper: Alban Lafont of Toulouse made his debut at 16 and over the past year looks to have done enough to have already, at the age of 17, become Les Pitchouns No .1
Left Back: Jordan Amavi of Aston Villa was a highly regarded youngster at Nice before his EPL move. Things haven't worked out for him since, but that might be a benefit to a club looking to pick him up on the cheap this summer, and for Liverpool, with Brad Smith not fully trusted to deputise for Alberto Moreno, there might be room for a newcomer to make a mark.
Centre Back: Niklas Sule of Hoffenheim is a 6'5" centre back with a decent amount of pace and plenty of experience in the Bundesliga. Makes sense in my head to have two Germans at the heart of defence.
Jorge Mere of Sporting Gijon has been a mainstay in the centre of defence this year at the young age of 18. Rumoured to have already been scouted by Barca.
Right Back: Jean Daniel Akpa Akpro of Toulouse isn't really a right back. Or at least he isn't just a right back. But he has played there as well as at centre back, centre mid, and left back. He most often plays as the right midfielder in a band of three but is very much a utility player for Toulouse and could be a long term replacement for James Milner in that versatile squad role. Plus I'd love to hear the song the Kop could make up about him!
DM: Victor Camarasa and Jefferson Lerma of Levante. The former being the Alonso and the latter being the Mascherano. At least in a best case scenario, though it could end up they're more Jonjo Shelvey and Mo Sissoko's level. Still, the duo could make for a handy young pair of DMs on the cheap.
AM: Marc Stendera of Eintracht Frankfurt has played the last two season and has featured as a CM in a double pivot, and b2b role in a 442 or as one of the 2 in a 1-2 midfield.
Wide forwards: Extensively promoted by TLO readers, Hoffenheim's Kevin Volland started life as a left footed goalscoring right wide forward and has played a number of games this season as a centre forward. In terms of goal scoring wide players, he could be the type of wide forward the club have been missing since Dirk Kuyt left.
Kenan Karaman is a right footed wide forward at Hannover who has also played at centre forward and could be a relatively low cost pick up and squad player in a position where Liverpool lack depth.
Striker: The Metro linked Carlos Castro, aka "The new David Villa,' to Arsenal last year. This season, the promising 20-year-old has 7 starts, 9 sub appearances, and 6 goals in total for Sporting Gijon. He's even scored against Barcelona.
Well there you go. Just a bit of fun taking a look at the teams that might get relegated across Europe and seeing who might fit be worth taking a punt on. You may have knowledge of some players in a relegation scrap elsewhere, and if you do, post them here and let us know where else Liverpool might find a bargain this summer.