Liverpool’s promising young midfielder, Cameron Brannagan, had been awaiting the completion of a season-long loan to Wigan while the two clubs worked out the details. It was initially reported that clauses were inserted into the paperwork by Liverpool that would ensure Brannagan would gain experience and see plenty of action on the pitch. But, while the deal seemed all but ready for signatures and pictures, Wigan have had a change of heart about committing to playing Brannagan in 75% of their games over the season.
Of course, Liverpool’s manager, Jürgen Klopp, doesn’t want to send his developing players off on loan just so they can sit on somebody else’s bench. He wants them to continue developing. That’s the reason for the clause, obviously. But, playing 75% of a season’s matches is not exactly a feat that our 20-year-old Academy starlet has ever managed. And it’s difficult to fault Wigan for getting cold feet. A failure to adhere to the 75% clause could mean Wigan would owe Liverpool a hefty six-figure sum.
Cameron Brannagan made nine appearance last season and had some decent showings against tough opposition. He was also used by Klopp throughout preseason in Liverpool’s midfield, but with the Premier League back in action those central positions are spoken for and the likes of Brannagan will be left waiting for opportunities.
To be sure, the young Englishman is ready for the challenge of a season with regular first-team football, and when this deal first came to light weeks ago, he did not tamper his desire to see that happening quickly.
“It would be good for me as a young lad to experience men’s football on a regular basis,” said Brannagan, “I’d like to do it soon.”
So, the sands shift again for a young player who in all likelihood just wants a decision to be made so that he gets settled in and can focus on the job. But, it’s anyone’s guess where Brannagan plays his football this season. Liverpool could decide to reduce that 75% down to something Wigan will accept. The club could also find another Championship side that is prepared to give Brannagan pitch time in 75% of their matches. Or Brannagan may just stay on Merseyside for now and be content with fighting for his limited chances.