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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Ian Doyle

Liverpool make 12 transfer decisions as 'first team' plan for midfielder takes next step

Liverpool supporters whose enjoyment centres as much around what happens in the transfer market as on the pitch have had a frustrating month or so.

And that the Reds are in the midst of an early-season injury crisis has only intensified their desire to be sated.

However, regardless of how Jurgen Klopp ultimately chooses to mould his squad, there's one area in which the Reds have once again done plentiful business.

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The loan market. Whether to help progress youngsters with their first experience of senior football or give much-needed game time to fringe players, Liverpool have increasingly looked to utilise temporary moves and assess the subsequent performance.

A total of 12 players are currently on a loan away from Anfield over the season, and with more than three weeks remaining before the transfer deadline there is still scope for similar moves for the likes of Sepp van den Berg. So who has been sent out, and where?

Leighton Clarkson (Aberdeen)

Clarkson made the perfect start to his time at Pittodrie when, mere hours after officially signing up at the Scottish Premiership side on Saturday, he scored on debut in the 4-1 win at St Mirren. The 21-year-old was only meant to play for the final half-hour but came on after 12 minutes due to an injury to Dons midfielder Hayden Coulson.

“If Leighton has ambitions to go and play for the Liverpool first team, then he’s got to come here and play and excel," says Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin. "I’m delighted for him to come in. He’s had a great education at Liverpool. He knows how we want to play, hence why he’s here. He’s one we’ve had tabs on for six weeks."

Tyler Morton (Blackburn Rovers)

The 19-year-old midfielder last week agreed to spend the season in the Championship at Ewood Park - where Clarkson had an aborted spell last campaign - and came off the bench for the final few moments of their win at Swansea City on Saturday.

“He’s still a young boy and is one of the players who Liverpool want to get in their team in the years to come," says Blackburn manager Jon Dahl Tomasson. "For Liverpool, this is an important loan, and he has to deserve minutes with us.”

Conor Bradley (Bolton Wanderers)

The 19-year-old Northern Ireland international right-back has hit the ground running in League One, following his assist in the opening weekend draw at Ipswich Town with another in the 3-0 home win over Wycombe Wanderers at the weekend.

“I did my pro-licence in Northern Ireland and very early on people there were saying ‘Conor’s one to keep an eye on’," says Bolton boss Ian Evatt. "Last January we tried to get him but he was very much in Liverpool’s first-team plans. Then, the opportunity became available this summer and we grabbed it with both hands."

Rhys Williams (Blackpool)

After a difficult time at Swansea City that was cut short last season, Williams is back in the Championship. The 21-year-old helped Blackpool keep a clean sheet on debut in a 1-0 home win against Reading, but was on the losing side with a 2-0 reverse at Stoke City on Saturday.

Owen Beck (Famalicao)

One of the more intriguing loan moves has seen the 19-year-old Welsh teenage left-back join Portuguese top flight Famalicao. He remained on the bench for the season-opening 2-0 defeat at Estoril at the weekend. Among Beck's new team-mates is Pele - the 30-year-old Guinea-Bissau international Pele, that is.

James Balagizi (Crawley Town)

The powerful midfielder, who only turns 19 next month, is in League Two and has started the opening 1-0 defeats at Carlisle United and at home to Leyton Orient. Balagizi, though, was named Crawley's official man of the match in the latter loss at the weekend.

Billy Koumetio (Austria Vienna)

The youngster dubbed 'Billy The Kid' by Jurgen Klopp will turn 20 in November and is furthering his experience in Austria. After a brief run-out from the bench on debut in an easy cup win, Koumetio played the second 45 minutes of the 3-0 loss to Red Bull Salzburg in the league opener and, the following week, was centre-back in the second team's 4-2 defeat at Blau Weiss Linz. He wasn't involved for either team last weekend.

Adam Lewis (Newport County)

The 22-year-old, whose previous campaign was hampered by injury, is in League Two and made his debut for the Welsh side with a seven-minute runout late on in the 1-0 home defeat to Walsall on Saturday.

Marcelo Pitaluga (Macclesfield Town)

The highly-rated 19-year-old Brazilian is continuing his development this season in the Northern Premier League West. In his first competitive action last weekend, he kept a clean sheet - and made an important save late on - as Macclesfield won their FA Cup extra preliminary round clash at Wythenshawe Town 2-0.

Vitezslav Jaros (Stockport County)

The 21-year-old shot-stopper had two loan spells last year and is now at the League Two side, and was on the bench for the first two games of the campaign.

Jakub Ojrzynski (Radomiak Radom)

The third young Liverpool goalkeeper out on loan, the 19-year-old Pole has gone back to his homeland for a season at Radmoiak Radom. He has yet to feature after four games.

Anderson Arroyo (Alaves)

The 22-year-old centre-back is now on his sixth loan spell in less than five years at Liverpool, having arrived in January 2018. He will spend the season with Alaves in La Liga 2, with the campaign due to start this coming weekend.


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