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Last Updated: Monday, 24 May, 2004, 09:30 GMT 10:30 UK
Who's next to leave?
Liverpool had always been expected to launch a substantial player clear-out this summer after scraping Champions League qualification.

But the departure of manager Gerard Houllier will intensify the sense of unease among the club's under-performing stars.

Houllier's last act was to allow Emile Heskey to join Birmingham. BBC Sport ponders who else could follow the striker through the Anfield exit door.


Emile Heskey
Emile Heskey
Striker
Age: 26
Cost: 11m

Heskey tested Houllier's faith to the limit this season, and the misfiring striker found himself on the bench on a number of occasions.

An 11m buy from Leicester in March 2000, Heskey managed just 58 goals in 218 appearances for Liverpool and this season hit the target 10 times.

Houllier had previously listened to offers from AC Milan and Middlesbrough for the 26-year-old in January, but it was Birmingham who clinched the deal.

SOLD TO BIRMINGHAM FOR 3.5m


El Hadji Diouf
El-Hadji Diouf
Striker
Age: 23
Cost: 10m

Critics of Houllier's transfer dealings point to Diouf, the club's second most expensive signing after Heskey, as a prime example.

The 22-year-old Senegal striker was signed after his promising displays in the 2002 World Cup, but he has failed to win a regular place in Liverpool's first team.

In 32 appearances this season, he has not scored a single goal but has managed to collect nine bookings, more than any other Liverpool player.


Stephane Henchoz
Stephane Henchoz
Defender
Age: 29
Cost: 2.5m

Henchoz and Sami Hyypia were once hailed as one of the finest central defensive pairings in the country as Liverpool won plaudits for their solidity at the back, if not for their attacking verve.

But even the Reds' defence has been creaking this season.

Henchoz's lack of pace, which has probably not been helped by a recent injury lay-off, has been increasingly exposed while his defensive sidekick Hyypia has also been struggling for form.


Sami Hyypia
Sami Hyypia
Defender
Age: 30
Cost: 3.25m

Hyypia made crucial mistakes last season, not least in allowing Shaun Bartlett to head the winner for Charlton last month

Hyypia also lost the club captaincy to Steven Gerrard in October, with Houllier hinting that the Finnish defender's game was suffering as a result of the added responsibility.


Danny Murphy
Danny Murphy
Midfielder
Age: 27
Cost: 2m

Liverpool's player of the 2002-03 season, Murphy suffered an alarming dip in form last term and has lost his place in the England squad.

Murphy can usually be relied upon in a crisis, chipping in with the occasional goal or inspiring the midfield, but Steven Gerrard was left to shoulder that responsibility last season.


Dietmar Hamann
Dietmar Hamann
Midfielder
Age: 30
Cost: 8m

Hamann has one year left on his contract and talks are yet to begin on an extension.

The 30-year-old German is a solid enough holding midfielder, but he adds little to Liverpool's efforts in attack - other than the odd spectacular long-range goal.


Vladimir Smicer
Vladimir Smicer
Midfielder
Age: 30
Cost: 4.2m

Smicer continues to be a first choice for the Czech Republic but has struggled to hold down a place in Liverpool's first team.

He got his chance at the start of the season, but an injury at Christmas saw him sidelined and he will once again look back at an unfulfilled season.


Markus Babbel
Markus Babbel
Defender
Age: 31
Cost: Free

Houllier was upset by Babbel's attitude after the club stood by him during a year-long illness, and the German was promptly loaned out to Blackburn.

Babbel is keen to return to Anfield - but it seems unlikely he will be welcomed with open arms.


Salif Diao
Salif Diao
Midfielder
Age: 27
Cost 4.7m

Diao arrived at Liverpool at the same time as fellow Senegal international Diouf.

A fringe player at best, seven appearances last season suggest his days may also be numbered.


Djimi Traore
Djimi Traore
Defender
Age: 24
Cost: 500,000

French defender Traore was signed in 1999 with an eye on the future and he spent the 2001-02 season on loan at Lens.

He deputised for the injured Henchoz last season but now 24, Traore is yet to establish himself as a first-choice and Liverpool may now regret turning down a reported 3m offer from Blackburn in 2001.






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