With his contract set to expire in the summer and having not played a significant role at the club in the past three seasons, Liverpool made things official a little early today by terminating the contract of left back Jose Enrique. The 30-year-old will now be free, should he wish, to sign on with a new club.
Enrique joined Liverpool from Newcastle for a £7M fee in 2011 and made a strong first impression, a physical presence on the left flank. In his first two years at Anfield, he looked a lock for the position, a defensively sound fullback who played more than 75 games and added a pair of goals and eight assists along the way.
A string of injuries limited his minutes in 2013-14, and even when he was eventually ruled fully fit, he’s proven unable to recover from them. He was given a chance to impress this past winter by new manager Jürgen Klopp when injuries decimated the first team, but he never looked especially like sticking with the first team.
Previously, both Sunderland and Newcastle had offered him an escape, though with both offering significantly lower wages than Liverpool, Enrique chose to stay at Anfield as a reserves player. All told, Enrique’s Liverpool career now ends with the left back having played 98 total games for the club over five seasons.
With Enrique unwilling to move on and looking physically well off the pace whenever he did get the chance to play, there has been some speculation that injuries may have taken too heavy a toll on the player, essentially ending his career as a top flight football player. Hopefully, he can now find a new home and prove that isn’t the case.
Meanwhile, Liverpool continue to be linked with Leicester City left back Ben Chilwell, a 19-year-old who while highly thought of would be unlikely to compete for the starting role for at least a few years, suggesting Jürgen Klopp may be happy heading into next season with Alberto Moreno his unquestioned starter.