3 Players Liverpool Should Send Out on Loan During January Transfer Window
While Liverpool certainly need to strengthen their squad with proven talent during this month's transfer window, there are a number of players who would benefit from leaving the club on a temporary basis.
At present, with a number of key men out injured, the Reds are down to the bare bones in terms of players available for selection.
However, come late January when the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Daniel Agger will be fighting fit, there will be certain players who will struggle for playing time.
Iago Aspas, Joe Allen, Martin Kelly and Luis Alberto have all failed to cement a place in Brendan Rodgers' starting 11 so far this season.
If utilised correctly, the loan system can be of great benefit.
There is no use in simply sending a player elsewhere if it is of no benefit to the individual or the club. The player simply has to play.
Established Premier League stars such as Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere, Kyle Walker and the aforementioned Sturridge have benefited greatly from loan moves earlier in their careers.
There are others in Rodgers' squad who could certainly follow suit.
This article will analyse the three players who would benefit most from a temporary move and evaluate how it will benefit both player and club.
It appears that when Brendan Rodgers brought Tiago Ilori to Anfield during the summer that he was earmarked as one for the future.
The Portugal under-20 international has joined Liverpool at a time when they are relatively well-stocked in the centre of defence.
With Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho all vying for places, Ilori has found opportunities hard to come by.
In fact, the promising youngster has yet to make his debut and has been an unused substitute on three occasions.
Signed along with Sakho for a reported combined fee of £25 million, Rodgers revealed to Mike Whalley of ESPN that Ilori—who he had tracked for a year—is blessed with blistering pace and has the potential to be a big talent.
With playing time at Anfield so hard to come by at present, both Ilori and Liverpool would benefit from a temporary move.
Regular football at a competitive level would provide Ilori with much-needed experience and would no doubt aid his development as a footballer.
Rodgers has proven throughout his time on Merseyside that he is willing to give youngsters a chance, however centre-back is a position where a manager can not really take risks.
The Daily Mail reports that Valencia are eyeing a possible loan swoop during this month's transfer window and a move to the Mestalla looks convenient for all parties.
Regular playing time in one of Europe's top leagues would present Ilori with an opportunity to test himself against some of the most feared strikers on the planet.
While the speedy defender may not envy marking the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Diego Costa, such experience would certainly aid his development into the top defender Rodgers thinks he can become.
Six months of regular football in La Liga would give Ilori the platform needed to come back and challenge for a place in Rodgers' side.
Brought in from Celta Vigo during the summer, Iago Aspas has struggled to settle during his first five months as a Liverpool player.
The Spanish forward started each of the Reds' first three Premier League fixtures—three 1-0 wins—but, through injury and poor form, he has featured less prominently as of late.
During his time at Anfield, Aspas has looked lightweight, sluggish in possession and worn the impression of a player who is severely lacking in confidence.
His first competitive goal during the recent FA Cup victory over Oldham Athletic may in fact kick-start his Liverpool career.
But this is more than likely a false dawn.
At present, Aspas simply does not look able to cut it. In fact, the Reds' No. 9 has been substituted in each of his five league starts this season.
Needless bookings were also a frequent occurrence during the opening weeks of the season as Aspas appeared to struggle to come to terms with the pace of the English game.
The Spaniard was cautioned three times during his first 10 league games as a Liverpool player.
Aspas' capability to play in a number of attacking positions may tempt Rodgers to hold onto him this month, but regular football would do wonders for the forward's confidence.
Regular football elsewhere may lead to Aspas returning to Anfield a different player—who can contribute more than what fans have seen so far.
A confident, more vibrant Aspas may see the Reds next season reap the rewards of a short-term deal and go some way to justifying the reported £7.7 million fee they splashed out last summer.
While experience and confidence have been given as reasons for other players to seek short-term moves, fitness simply springs to mind when considering a loan move for Martin Kelly.
Kelly has been cursed with injuries for the best part of 18 months and like Ilori, faces stiff competition for a place in Liverpool's back four.
Despite being blessed with the ability to play both right-back and centre-back, at present, the likes of Glen Johnson and Jon Flanagan, as well as Agger, Skrtel, Toure and Sakho, stand in the way.
Kelly has done well when previously selected, but with this season under Rodgers, he has found it difficult to break into the side.
The defender has started just one game so far this season—the recent FA Cup win over Oldham—and despite looking solid both in defence and going forward, he looked to be struggling for fitness as the full-time whistle neared.
A temporary move would grant Kelly much-needed playing time and like Ilori, would provide him a platform to challenge for a first-team place on his return.
During Kenny Dalglish's ill-fated second spell as manager, Kelly looked on the verge of becoming a regular in the side. Impressive performances led to Roy Hodgson selecting him as a member of England's Euro 2012 squad.
There is nothing Liverpool fans like more than seeing a local lad break into the side and becoming a regular, but since Steven Gerrard 15 years ago, many have struggled to do so.
A temporary move would provide the defender with the opportunity to really kick-start a career that has been hampered by injury and go on to be a real key player for the Reds.
Although the side are struggling with injuries to defenders at the moment, come the end of January it is expected the majority will have returned, so a move this month for Kelly looks possible.
A move to a Premier League side would give the gifted defender the opportunity to re-familiarise himself the demands of the top flight and do wonders for his fitness.
Are there other Reds players you think would benefit more from a loan move this month? Comment below on who you think the Reds should look to let go.