How 11 Liverpool players who left last summer have fared this season

Roberto Firmino of Al Ahli controlling the ball during the Saudi Pro League match between Al-Ahli SFC and Al-Hilal at King Abdullah Sports City on May 06, 2024 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Roberto Firmino was one of 11 Liverpool departures last summer. -Credit:Elie Hokayem/Saudi Pro League via Getty Images

Liverpool is undergoing a proper rebuild this summer. Jürgen Klopp is leaving, along with most of his backroom staff, while Michael Edwards has returned to the fold as 'CEO of Football' to help deliver an overarching vision.

It's easy to forget that last summer had the same label attached to it. There were high-profile departures for the likes of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, and Liverpool essentially rebuilt its whole midfield.

All in all, there were 11 permanent departures from the club, while four players came in — all of the arrivals being central midfielders. Alexis Mac Allister has been sensational, while Wataru Endō, Dominik Szoboszlai and Ryan Gravenberch have all had their moments to greater or lesser extents.

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But what became of those who moved on? We've checked in on everyone who left Liverpool, with their fortunes varying pretty drastically.

Fabinho (Al-Ittihad)

Fabinho netted Liverpool by far its most significant transfer fee of the summer. Sold to Al-Ittihad for $50m (£40m/€47m), it's incredible to think he more than funded the Mac Allister purchase.

Al-Ittihad has struggled badly, and is the only PIF-owned side not in the league's top four. Fabinho was briefly drafted into central defense, in 3-1 and 5-2 defeats to Al-Raed and Al-Nassr respectively, but has predominantly played at the base of midfield. He has been missing through injury for the last nine league games.

Jordan Henderson (Al-Ettifaq)

Jordan Henderson was the only other departure for which Liverpool received a disclosed fee. Also sold to Saudi Arabia, he was signed for $15m (£12m/€14m) by Al-Ettifaq, under the management of Steven Gerrard.

Infamously, Henderson lasted just six months, and has since moved to Ajax. Things have not been entirely straightforward for him there, either, although he still looks likely to make the England squad for Euro 2024. In his absence, Al-Ettifaq has actually enjoyed something of an improvement.

Roberto Firmino (Al-Ahli)

Completing the Saudi trio, Roberto Firmino moved to Al-Ahli at the end of his Liverpool contract. His side is currently third in the table, two places above Fabinho's Al-Ittihad.

But Firmino has had a relatively peripheral role. He scored a hat-trick in the first game, but then did not find the net again until February 16. While that prompted a mini-flurry of goals and assists, he then endured another long drought, one that he ended on May 6 with a goal (and assist) against Damac.

All in all, he has seven league goals and six assists for the season. Starting in a center-forward role, he has more recently been playing as an attacking midfielder.

James Milner (Brighton)

Another free transfer departure, James Milner stayed in the Premier League, moving to Brighton. He has continued to close in on the division's all-time appearance record.

Milner needs 20 more games to break the record of 653 set by Gareth Barry. A regular for Brighton in the first half of the season, primarily off the bench, he has not featured in the squad since January, having picked up a thigh injury. Now 38, he will hope not to have lost his shot at the Premier League milestone.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Beşiktaş)

A third free transfer away from Liverpool, and unfortunately another one where injuries have taken their toll. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain spent much of his time at Anfield sidelined, and it's been a similar story in Turkey.

It was a fairly promising start for him at Beşiktaş, with four goals and an assist before Christmas. But then Oxlade-Chamberlain tore a thigh muscle, missing 15 matches. He's been making cameos off the bench since April as he gradually returns to first-team involvement.

Naby Keïta (Werder Bremen)

You'll never guess what's happened with this free transfer? That's right, an injury-hit campaign!

It was always going to take a brave club to sign Keïta after his frankly abysmal injury record at Liverpool. Clearly, Werder Bremen thought it could fix him, but it's all ended in tears. Most recently, having returned to fitness, he was fined and suspended after allegedly refusing to travel with the team when not named in the XI.

Leighton Clarkson (Aberdeen)

Remarkably, it's another midfielder for the list. So far, of the seven players listed, six ply their trade in the center of the park.

Leighton Clarkson was highly regarded in the Academy when he came through, but never quite made the grade, and was sold for an undisclosed fee. However, he's found a home north of the border, where he has become a key figure for Aberdeen. Earlier in the season, he registered an assist against Rangers in a 3-1 away win.

Max Woltman (Oxford United)

Another undisclosed fee departure, Max Woltman also made waves in the Liverpool academy setup without ever quite making the grade. He did get the experience of a Champions League appearance in 2021/22, and featured in an FA Cup game too, but that proved to be it.

Minutes have proved similarly hard to come by at Oxford. Woltman has just three appearances to his name, all in the EFL Trophy, only even making the bench once in League One.

Layton Stewart (Preston North End)

While Layton Stewart has had marginally more luck than Woltman, his 16 appearances do not tell the whole story. A perennial late substitute, the 21-year-old has amassed just 213 minutes across those games, and has more yellow cards (two) than goal involvements (none).

Having scored 27 goals in 25 appearances for Liverpool U18s, and 16 in 34 for the U23s, it's a disappointing step for Stewart. Preston spent most of the season chasing the playoffs before a shocking late run left it in 10th.

Liam Hughes (Haka)

Northern Ireland U21 international Liam Hughes made an intriguing move at the expiry of his Liverpool contract. He made the move to Finland to play for Haka.

His main season has only just begun, with the campaign in Finland following a very different calendar. Hughes played twice during the pre-season League Cup tournament, keeping one clean sheet, but has not been in the squad for the first five league matches.

Jack Bearne (Greenock Morton)

Also released at the end of his deal, midfielder Jack Bearne moved to Greenock Morton in the Scottish Championship. Interestingly, like Clarkson, he has had the chance to play against Rangers — coming off the bench in a narrow 2-1 defeat in the Scottish League Cup.

An assist on his league debut was a good start for Bearne. But minutes have been sporadic since then, and he's only added one further assist, with no goals to his name.