HomeTRENDING NEWSLiverpool is planning to cut two players from its roster, while a...

Liverpool is planning to cut two players from its roster, while a “update” on Luis Diaz is anticipated.


Liverpool is planning to cut two players from its roster, while a “update” on Luis Diaz is anticipated.

Liverpool may make up to three changes to their Champions League roster, which must be submitted by February 2 at 24:00 CET.

Before naming their Champions League roster for the second half of the season, Liverpool may provide an injury update on Luis Diaz.

The Colombian has not played for Liverpool since early October, when he was forced off with a knee injury against Arsenal. And although he returned to exercise in December during Liverpool’s midseason training camp in Dubai, the winger would subsequently need surgery after complaining of discomfort in the joint.

The 26-year-old was expected to be out until March at the moment. It remains to be seen if this prediction proves accurate, given that the Reds remain circumspect over Diaz’s anticipated return date, particularly in light of his past setback.

Regardless, he will definitely miss Liverpool’s Champions League round of 16 first leg match against Real Madrid at Anfield on February 21, and his status for the second leg at Bernabeu on March 15 is uncertain.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita were absent from Liverpool’s Champions League squad for the first half of the season due to injuries. However, both players returned to training before to the conclusion of the group stages. Consequently, it is possible that Jurgen Klopp may make a similar decision about Diaz, depending on how well his recovery is progressing in the background.

Premier League

“Diogo (Jota), Bobby (Firmino) and Virgil (van Dijk), a couple of weeks before they can join training and then we have to see how quickly it goes from there,” Klopp told reporters when offering his latest injury update at his pre-match press conference ahead of Liverpool’s FA Cup trip to Brighton last week. “It will take another couple of weeks, I think.

“Luis (Diaz) takes longer. He (Arthur Melo) is pretty good. He is running a lot. For him as well, two or three weeks maybe until he can join team training. But it looks good, for a while already. After a long injury he needs a proper build-up. He was not part of team training.”

If Diaz is named in Liverpool’s squad, we can conclude that his recuperation is progressing well enough for him to compete in the Champions League again this season, and he may be on track to play in Madrid.

However, if Diaz is not included, the Reds will still be required to leave out senior players from their first-half squad if they seek to recall Oxlade-Chamberlain and Keita, as teams are only permitted to name a maximum of three new players in their squad at the midseason point.

Klopp chose a 24-man squad for this season’s group stages, since Liverpool did not have enough club-trained players to name a full 25-man team. With this situation continuing, up to three players are expected to be left out.

With their European roster submission deadline set for February 2 at 24:00 CET, we take a look at who could miss out.

Stefan Bajcetic withdraws, but remains available.

First things first: it is quite likely that Stefan Bajcetic will be pulled out of Liverpool’s 24-man squad to make place for Gakpo. The midfielder made three appearances in the group stage and has established himself as the first-choice in recent weeks.

Bajcetic is young enough to be enrolled as a ‘List B’ player, and therefore still be selected without being included in their 25-man squad. However, he was not eligible for the list in the summer despite being the correct age.

UEFA regulations state: “A player may be registered on List B if he was born on or after 1 January 2001 and has been eligible to play for the club concerned for any uninterrupted period of two years since his 15th birthday by the time he is registered with UEFA – or for a total of three consecutive years with a maximum of one loan period to a club from the same association lasting no longer than one year.”

Bajcetic moved to Liverpool from Celta Vigo in December 2020. As a result, he has already spent two consecutive years at Anfield and is enrolled on List B.

Kaide Gordon, who joined the club from Derby County in February 2021, might also be placed on the list for the first time. However, Ben Doak and Bobby Clark have not been with the club long enough to be included on List B.

As a result, they are ineligible to compete in the Champions League until they are listed in Klopp’s 25-man squad. Therefore, summer arrivals Fabio Carvalho and Calvin Ramsay are now enrolled in Klopp’s squad despite being under 21 years old.

Are there three new players included?

With Bajcetic out and Gakpo in, Liverpool’s squad is at its maximum of 24 players, everyone is content, and everything is good. Or is it?

Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain were both out from the team for the first half of the season due to injury. Next month, they will either be left out again or reinstated at the expense of two senior players.

Who else gets left out?

With Gakpo taking Bajcetic’s place, Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain are the two senior players now slated to leave the team.

Ramsay has made just two appearances for Liverpool thus far due to injuries, but Joe Gomez and James Milner are both capable of playing right back.

Nat Phillips, the Reds’ fifth-choice central defender, is also a potential omission; however, due to homegrown rules, Oxlade-Chamberlain would have to replace him if he was withdrawn; otherwise, the Reds’ squad would be reduced to 23 players if they did not sign a qualifying player. Recent injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate could prevent such a decision.

Arthur Melo, who has made just one 13-minute appearance for Liverpool due to injury, might be left out despite being close to a return to training. Alternatively, Diaz could be left out due to his knee injury if the Reds choose to take a calculated, short-term risk.

Goalkeeping loophole

There is, however, a loophole for Klopp to consider: he could omit Adrian, his third-choice goalkeeper, to create room for all of his senior outfielders.

Clubs are obligated to put at least two goalkeepers on List A and at least three in total (Lists A and B combined), thus it is feasible that the German may leave out the Spaniard and call on the youngster Harvey Davies to make up the numbers behind Alisson and Caoimhin Kelleher.

Such a decision would be risky, but it could be worth taking because UEFA rules would allow Liverpool to temporarily replace Adrian if they regretted leaving him out. This is because if a club cannot count on the services of at least two goalkeepers registered on List A due to a long-term injury or illness (i.e. one that lasts at least 30 days), they can temporarily replace him at any time during the season.

Therefore, if Alisson or Kelleher were unavailable due to injury or suspension, it is possible that the Reds would recall Adrian despite having left him out of their January squad.

What’ Trending

Homegrown athletes

While teams are permitted to nominate a 25-man squad for the Champions League, eight of those 25 slots are allocated solely for “locally trained players.” If a club has fewer than eight locally trained players in their squad, the maximum number of players on List A is decreased proportionately.

There are two types of “locally trained players”: club-trained and association-trained.

No club may have more than four association-trained players among its eight ‘local’ nominees on List A.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, and Caoimhin Kelleher are Liverpool’s sole club-trained players. James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Fabio Carvalho, and Nat Phillips are their only association-trained players.

While Oxlade-Chamberlain would be an eighth homegrown player, Liverpool would still lack the fourth required club-trained player to name a full 25-man squad. As a result, the Reds could include the midfielder in place of one of the aforementioned quartet or name him alongside such players without meeting the full ‘local’ nominees quota.

List B athletes

Harvey Davies, Isaac Mabaya, Luke Chambers, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Dominic Corness, and Melkamu Frauendorf were all named to List B for the first half of the season. Bajcetic is expected to be added to the list, and Gordon may also be added.

Liverpool can add more young players to List B as the season progresses, as long as they were born on or after January 1, 2001, and have been eligible to play for the club for at least two years since their 15th birthday, or for three years with a maximum one-year loan to another club from the same association.

When must Liverpool name their roster?

Prior to the round of 16, clubs may register a maximum of three new players before February 2 at 24:00 CET.

Potential Liverpool Champions League squad

Goalkeepers: Alisson Becker, Adrian, Caoimhin Kelleher (club-trained).

Joe Gomez (club-trained), Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Kostas Tsimikas, Andy Robertson, Joel Matip, Nat Phillips (association-trained), and Trent Alexander-Arnold were the defenders for Liverpool (club-trained).

Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara, James Milner (association-trained), Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson (association-trained), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are the midfielders for Liverpool (association-trained).

Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Cody Gakpo, Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez, and Fabio Carvalho are the forwards for this team (association-trained).

Harvey Davies, Isaac Mabaya, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Stefan Bajcetic, Dominic Corness, Kaide Gordon, and Melkamu Frauendorf are players on List B.

Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Cody Gakpo were added to List A.

The following players could be eliminated from List A: Calvin Ramsay, Arthur Melo, and Stefan Bajcetic.

Liverpool is planning to cut two players from its roster, while a “update” on Luis Diaz is anticipated.

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