With Liverpool deepest in defence and at least one more signing expected, it was only a matter of time before a few defenders competing for first team minutes moved on. Today, it appears the first to go will be 24-year-old defender Martin Kelly, who is reportedly on the verge of completing a move to Crystal Palace after the clubs agreed a £1.5M fee.
Kelly was always expected to leave this season, with the only question being whether it would be on loan or permanent. After two-and-a-half seasons either out or recovering from a serious ACL injury, one way or another match action was always the priority, and there remain serious questions as to whether Kelly has yet to fully recover.
After making 43 first team appearances across all competitions in 2010-11 and 2011-12 and appearing primed to break through as a regular contributor in Liverpool's defence, his slow recovery meant that Kelly only made 15 appearances over the past two seasons, mostly off the bench. In total, he has made 62 appearances for Liverpool in his career.
He made one senior appearances for England in 2012 and appeared set to be involved in that summer's European Championships but his injury struggles soon ruled him out of contention. Since then, despite the continual hopes of most Liverpool fans that a promising local boy would come good, his career has been in a holding pattern.
The fee may not be much, and it may be sad to see the departure of a player many had for a time imagined key to the club's future, but moving on, one way or another, always seemed likely for Kelly this summer. Assuming the deal goes through, hopefully he can stay fit and carve out a role for himself at Crystal Palace.