Having been left behind when Liverpool headed to Hong Kong for phase two of their pre-season preparations, the assumption had been that by the time the team returned to Merseyside, young winger Sheyi Ojo would have found a new home—likely on loan, with Middlesbrough being considered firm favourites.
Instead, the Red are back and Ojo is still at the club. According to a smattering of reports in the English press today, that’s because a second serious contender has arrived in Aston Villa, who are currently doing their best to convince the club and player they would be a better destination for him than Middlesbrough.
Wherever he ends up, the 20-year-old needs to find a club for the coming season where he will see the pitch as a regular starter, something unlikely to happen at Liverpool following the signing of Mohamed Salah. There have also been hints that what minutes are available in attack will be given to Ben Woodburn first.
The arrival of Salah, the need to find playing time for four strikers—some of which will involve them filling in on the wing—and Jürgen Klopp’s determination to get Woodburn on the pitch this season all meant a loan for Ojo is certain. Being left off the squad that headed to Hong Kong only served as further confirmation.
There remains some interest in the player from Newcastle United, who at one point offered a purchase plus buyback deal, but increasingly it looks as though a season-long loan to the Championship is the most likely outcome for Ojo this summer.