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Who Should Liverpool Sell?

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There's are just over three weeks of the transfer window remaining and a number of senior players involved in Liverpool's title challenge have already departed for pastures new. Who should follow them on permanent or temporary deals?

Michael Regan

Pepe Reina is due to sign a contract later today, enabling him to become a member of FC Bayern Munich's squad. The two players who were on loan at Liverpool last season have departed with no attempts ensure their presence would continue beyond May. Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto were squad players who were part of the first-team squad last season but saw very few minutes after January as Liverpool were engaged in a surprising challenge for the Premier League title. Both have returned to Spain on loan while Conor Coady, a local youngster, has joined Huddersfield Town. Bolton Wanderers' new captain Jay Spearing will have the opportunity to face a fellow dogged Scouse midfielder in the Championship.

Jakub Sokolik has joined Yeovil on a free transfer and Divock Origi should benefit from continuing his education at Lille. Andre Wisdom will experience Premier League football once again with the Baggies after proving his worth in the Championship with Derby County. One successful season in the Championship followed by an opportunity in the Premier League to either prove worthy of a place in Liverpool's squad or a tidy sale is usually a healthy way of working. Loans for Suso and Tiago Ilori in La Liga have seemed to at least maintain, if not increase, their respective values to management and the transfer market, if a permanent separation unfortunately transpires.

Brad Smith has recently joined Swindon Town on a youth loan in a move designed to expose the 20-year-old to the rigours of regular football at a side expected to be one of the better sides in League One and Tiago Ilori's developmental gains in Spain may not be over with a loan deal with Deportivo La Coruña reportedly imminent. It may seem that Liverpool have made a lot more progress in terms of incoming transfers but significant work has been completed in moving on players.

Luis Suárez is the biggest name to depart and interestingly, he'll work without a "no bite" in his clause at his new club. His exit is significant and Liverpool have lost a world class player. The £75 million transfer fee and the loss of his significant wages can understandably feel irrelevant when such a world class talent is no longer available for Brendan Rodgers to call upon. Irrespective of his unexpected moments on a football pitch, there would be no voices questioning whether Liverpool would finish in the top four if Suárez was still a Liverpool player. It is up to the rest of the players at the club and the management team to start well so that flapping, critical, and worrying lips will summarily be hushed as Liverpool seek to continue their excellent form in 2014.

However, some players will not be part of Rodgers' chosen group to go forth and be fruitful in domestic climes as well as the land of milk and honey. Some will see that no opportunity exists for them as certain new signings mingle with their new colleagues on the training field and may decide that a cherished or merely professional association with a club is coming to an end as they watch the smiling intensity of Brendan Rodgers in conversation with a new rival. Such quiet moments observed from the corner of one's eyes reveal much. It may be the glance Rodgers later gives that watching player after his conversation is over that confirms fears or predictions of an impending departure.

It seems there is an idea of the players Brendan Rodgers will most likely sell if a suitable offer is tendered and there are youngsters who will certainly spend time away on loan if a club offers exposure, playing time, considerable financial assistance in wages, and an approach to the game that somewhat tallies with Liverpool's. The names that are strongly linked with departures have been reported and there have even been bids made for squad players who have not yet left the Liverpool family. However, should these be the players to say goodbye or has Brendan Rodgers overlooked a player who would be a more appropriate candidate for sale?

Liverpool haven't progressed very far in domestic cups under Brendan Rodgers and are due a domestic cup run at some stage. Will this be the season and if so, does this affect the numbers needed for the early rounds of the League Cup and/or FA Cup? Arsenal have used the League Cup as a development ground for youngsters as part of Arsène Wenger's plan to assess young talents in competitive colours for his club. If Liverpool were to adopt this approach then not only would squad players such as Joe Allen and perhaps Kolo Touré be making an appearance but also youngsters such as Jordon Ibe, Suso, and possibly João Carlos Teixeira in teams with a healthy mix of experience and youthful ebullience.

Liverpool need the right numbers but must ensure that injuries or poor form do not leave the club irresponsibly vulnerable in a campaign when the demands and competition will be at its highest in Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool tenure to date. Who should depart before the window closes and what will the squad look like in light of Liverpool's outgoing transfer business? It is hoped that the club will look deeper and more balanced if lacking a little bit of unpredictable bite at the sharp end.