The January transfer window is almost upon us and it is set to be a busy time for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool. Fans with Liverpool tickets may not be expecting some big arrivals, but there will certainly be a few departures. One of those expected to move on is Cameron Brannagan on loan.
Brannagan is a player who has got a bright future at Anfield. However, after making nine first-team appearances last season the academy graduate has seen his chances limited and will be looking to seal a temporary move away from the club in January.
Bolton Wanderers are leading the chase to secure his services and help with their promotion push according to the Liverpool Echo.
The 20-year-old midfielder has been left frustrated this season at Anfield and despite being a regular in the Liverpool Under 23s side, he has failed to add a single appearance this season or even make the matchday squad for any senior clashes this term.
A proposed loan move to Wigan Athletic fall through last summer, but it now looks likely that the Manchester-born midfielder will have the chance to gain valuable first team experience elsewhere next month with a loan move the most likely solution.
Brannagan told The Anfield Wrap: “I’ve just got to keep training and working hard. If the manager needs me for the first team I’m here and ready to be called upon. The Under-23s games are coming up and I’ve just got to keep playing in them and working hard." He added: "Playing last season [in the first team] just gives you the incentive — you want to play more. That’s not always the case being a young lad coming through, it’s difficult.”
The summer arrivals of Gigi Wijnaldum and Marko Grujic have limited Brannagan’s opportunities further and have seen him fall down the Anfield pecking order at the club. Despite this, Brannagan has starred in the Liverpool Under 23s setup and has impressed this season with an eye for goal and varied range of passing. Joining Bolton Wanderers could see him play a vital role in their promotion push back up to the Championship and under Phil Parkinson he will gain vital experience of playing in a competitive league and a physical environment suited to the Premier League.
A short-term move to Wigan fell through after the club failed to match Liverpool’s demand that Brannagan played in 75% of their matches. Liverpool insist on such clauses in a bid to avoid a scenario where a talented youngster goes out on loan but is sat warming the bench. “I can see the benefits of a loan,” the 20-year-old told the Liverpool Echo in July.
“If I'm not going to get regular game time here, I'd love the experience of what it's like because that's something I've not done before. It would be good for me as a young lad to experience men's football on a regular basis so I'd like to do it soon.”
It is expected that a few of Liverpool’s youngsters could be departing Anfield on a temporary basis in order to gain vital first team exposure and Brannagan looks like being the first departure in January as he seeks regular first team football.