In a run-in that's been increasingly defined by the contract that isn't getting signed, it's been easy to forget the deals that the club have tied up in the past calendar year. The jury is still out on some of last summer's new faces, but most have a clear role at the club moving forward, and nearly all have provided enough evidence of their talent to warrant a spot in the squad next season.
Liverpool have also managed to tie down a number of players already at the club to longer-term deals, having agreed terms for extended contracts for the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho, and Jordan Henderson over the course of the season. Each were rewarded for their play over the past 18 months, with Sturridge and Coutinho rarely slowing down since joining in January of 2013 and Henderson cementing his role as vice-captain and midfield ever-present under Brendan Rodgers.
Thursday brought conveniently-timed news of two more extended deals, as the club announced that Jordon Ibe committed a further five years to Liverpool, with Jon Flanagan adding another year to his stay as he continues to recover from an injury-riddled campaign. Rodgers was quick to praise both after their deals were revealed, noting the current quality as well as longer-term promise of both:
"(Jordon) has thoroughly deserved it. He is a young kid that has got a lot of potential. He still has a lot of work to do to become that consistent performer at the top level, but there's no doubting his potential and he has really grown and developed over the course of the last season. He came back from Derby and had taken on board all that he was coached there and had done exceptionally well.
"We're hoping that (Jon) can get back fit within the next year. It has been a long journey for him this last 18 months and in particular the last year of injury. Hopefully he can get back fit and get back into the team. He was very impressive in his composure and calmness. People talk about the goalscorers this year and absolutely the goalscorers that we miss, but we definitely missed Jon Flanagan in equal proportion because of his aggression. He's very tenacious and he's a very good footballer."
In the case of Ibe, the chances will come immediately, as Raheem Sterling's uncertain future has led many to anoint the 19-year-old as the heir apparent in Liverpool's attacking setup. Comparisons between the two in terms of playing style and accomplishments in their careers thus far don't hold up especially well, but Ibe's promise is there for all to see, and if his development continues through the summer and into the start of next season, it's easy to see him cementing a place in the regular rotation.
For Flanagan it's not quite so clear, as he'll first need to prove his fitness after more than a year out of competitive football. That the club have committed to him without any guarantees is a nice gesture, and the hope is that it pays off for both parties. As he is prone to do, Rodgers has, at times, overstated Flanagan's influence last season, but the Scouse product was no doubt an important piece of last season's successes on the pitch, and one would be hard pressed to find a supporter who's not pulling for him to come good yet again.
Both will get their chances at some point, and, given the evidence to this point, it's hard to bet against either.