Liverpool could do another four deals between now and the end of the January transfer window. The Reds, much like the bulk of the Premier League bar Tottenham, are not expected to make any signings between now and 11pm on February 1st but there are several more outgoings they could approve.
Jurgen Klopp’s team have recalled a number of players this month from unsuccessful loan spells. Fabio Carvalho returned from RB Leipzig and was sent to Hull City, with Rhys Williams joining Port Vale after struggling to make an impact at Aberdeen.
But there are a handful more who have returned to Anfield without yet finding clubs for the second half of the season. Billy Koumetio, the teenage centre-back Liverpool were once quite excited about a few years back, has returned from Ligue 2.
The Frenchman was playing for USL Dunkerque but made only nine appearances in total, one of which saw him sent off for two yellow cards on his debut. Koumetio is under contract until 2025 but it would appear unlikely he has any first-team future on Merseyside despite two senior appearances for the club.
Calvin Ramsay is also back at Anfield after a disappointing stint with Championship side Preston North End. The Scottish right-back, 20, signed from Aberdeen for up to £6.5million two years ago, played just twice for the Lilywhites due to injury and competition for places.
With Conor Bradley having made an impression and Trent Alexander-Arnold to return from injury later this month, it is expected Ramsay will be loaned out once more. His fellow defender Nat Phillips is however left in limbo.
Phillips’ time in Scotland with Celtic did not go to plan and the Hoops opted against extending his six-month stay in Glasgow. The 26-year-old is at a crossroads in his career as he searches for a new permanent club after being merely a back-up at Liverpool.
But with Joel Matip out for the rest of the season, Phillips could well stay in case Ibrahima Konate or Joe Gomez suffer injury between now and the end of the campaign. Klopp would ideally prefer to do what is best for the player, which is to go out and play in an effort to convince clubs to come in for him, but he won’t want to leave himself short at the back.
And one more player to return this month who will surely go back out on loan is James Balagizi. The 20-year-old midfielder, formerly on the books of Manchester City, spent the first half of the season at Wigan Athletic where he made seven appearances for the Latics in League One.
Balagizi did enjoy a productive stint in League Two with Crawley Town last season before injury ended his season prematurely. Liverpool might therefore try sending the England under-20 international back out to the EFL’s fourth tier before the window shuts.
The midfielder only signed a new Anfield contract last July and will be eager for regular minutes to accelerate his development. He has yet to play for the Liverpool first team but will still harbour hopes of a future on Merseyside.
As too will Ramsay, who was brought in to be Alexander-Arnold’s long-term No 2 or perhaps even his successor if his team-mate moves into midfield permanently in the coming years. But for Koumetio and Phillips, it appears a question of when, not if, they eventually leave permanently. Those full-time moves may not come until the summer though.
Every Liverpool January transfer exit so far this month
Rhys Williams to Port Vale (loan)
Fabio Carvalho to Hull City (loan)
Luke Chambers to Wigan Athletic (loan)
Marcelo Pitaluga to St Patrick’s Athletic (loan)