Michael Edwards, Liverpool’s sporting director, is beginning to become a figure of huge popularity among the Reds faithful, but his recent decision to send Nathaniel Clyne to Bournemouth on loan has provoked plenty of criticism from fans and pundits alike.
Clyne had become something of a forgotten figure at Anfield before he completed a six-month loan move to the south coast, with the rise of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez giving fans reason to believe that the England international was no longer needed at the club.
However, a lengthy lay off for Gomez and now a recent injury problem collected by Alexander-Arnold have left Liverpool short of options at right-back, forcing Jamie Redknapp to question the decision to offload Clyne this month while speaking to Sky Sports (via Liverpool Echo).
“I can’t understand the decision to let Clyne go out. I know you can play James Milner at right-back and I know he can fill in anywhere. He’s such an important player but it’s makes you wonder why he let Clyne go out at this moment.”
While Redknapp is certainly right to question the decision considering Liverpool’s current crisis, the long-term thinking Edwards has employed will certainly give the fans plenty to shout about in the long run.
After such an extended period of time on the sideline, the first-team opportunities which Clyne will be afforded under Eddie Howe are exactly what he needs to breathe new life back into his career.
That Clyne has already started back-to-back league games at Bournemouth suggests he will establish himself as a first-team regular, which will give him every possible chance of re-establishing himself at Liverpool upon his return.
Alternatively, a series of fine performances at Bournemouth may yet drive his price-tag upwards and convince the Cherries or another potential suitor to complete a permanent deal for him in the summer.
With the incredibly dependant and versatile James Milner in place to fill in at right-back – one match suspension aside – and plenty of options available to Jurgen Klopp in midfield, the decision to offload Clyne is one which made perfect sense in the long-term, and a potential return to Liverpool’s first-team next season or a big-money summer move could yet beckon for the former Southampton star.
Either outcome would force Redknapp to eat his words and provoke further gushing admiration for Edwards from the Liverpool supporters.
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