José Enrique, Mario Balotelli, and Fabio Borini. Maybe Quentin Tarantino should release a trailer about the intertwined destinies of three unwanted gunslingers in the Liverpool dressing room. While Lucas Leiva may be on his way out of Anfield, the Brazilian was part of the first-team squad on tour. The same was true for Rickie Lambert even though he was told that he had no future at the club before ending up at West Bromwich Albion under Tony Pulis. Yet Enrique, Balotelli, and Borini are so unwanted that they have been banished from the squad.
When Enrique described the three as "alienated" in an interview with Marca, something that Brendan Rodgers has purposely done to ensure that he mostly has the squad he wants for what will be a vital campaign for his tenure at the club. Yet there remains the possibility that one or more of these three outcasts will remain with the club, but if there was a choice to pick only one to stay at Anfield, who would be needed the most?
Mario Balotelli remains a player with the talent to make a difference even after a poor first season at the club. Divock Origi and Danny Ings are both inexperienced, while Daniel Sturridge is injured. A Balotelli motivated to prove his worth to the football world wouldn't be hard to imagine. He will need to produce when he gets minutes to impress potential suitors as well as a manager who seems to have lost faith in him. Adding him to the first-team squad would deepen Liverpool's attacking options and ensure that an experienced striker would lead the line in all competitions.
Enrique has been a player who hasn't featured for the first-team squad for some time now. He barely featured last season and is far more active on social media than he is on the pitch. The 29-year-old probably needs a move more than most, if only to be considered as a professional footballer once more. However, there are a few problems. Jon Flanagan is injured, Joe Gomez is a young centre half being played out of position, and Alberto Moreno is struggling to start. If Liverpool won't strengthen the left back position before the end of the transfer window, wouldn't Enrique be more needed than ever?
Who has the hustle and bustle to be a foil for the second biggest signing in the club's history? Danny Ings may be that player but is untested. Divock Origi is still young and developing his game. Daniel Sturridge is for later. Enter Fabio Borini. His energy and movement could complement Christian Benteke if Rodgers deploys two strikers. End product may be a concern, but Borini may be the ideal candidate to serve a greater need: getting the best out of Benteke.
Please select your player to keep at the club, and if you feel compelled to do so, share your reasoning below in the comments.
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