Between the constant addition of new competitions at the club and international level, at times it can seem as though there’s no such thing as an offseason in football any more. No point, really, where one season or campaign begins and another ends.
As soon as one game ends, it seems there’s always another on the horizon a week away at most. There’s still a kind of emotional finality, though, to the final home game of the club season and with it the final chance to watch—and say goodbye—to players.
For the Reds, Saturday’s match against Aston Villa was particularly noteworthy on that front, with Roberto Firmino and James Milner—the two appearance leaders for Jürgen Klopp with the Reds—playing for the final time at Anfield as Liverpool players.
“It’s really sad to see [Firmino] and the other lads go,” reflected captain Jordan Henderson. “it was really difficult for me to stand and watch them come through the guard of honour and receive the reception they did. It’s pretty emotional for me as well.
“I think the level of his [Milner’s] performance is still really high, he came on and made such a difference—same as Bobby. We’ve just got to wish them the best of luck now because whatever clubs they do choose they are getting two amazing players.”
While Firmino and Milner both made appearances, it is also the end of the road as Liverpool players for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keïta. Others, too, from backup goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher to defender Joël Matip, could also leave the club.
“The other two lads as well, Ox and Naby, over the last couple of years have had some bad injuries and have struggled to find rhythm,” Henderson added. “But we can’t forget their contribution to this football club and the success that this club has had.
“They were a huge part of that and we can’t forget that so it’s sad to see them go as well.”