The remainder of the 2020/21 season is going to be a big one for Liverpool collectively, with the need to get into the Champions League for a fifth successive campaign abundantly clear.

But for individuals, too, it could be vital in determining their future role at Anfield, or even whether or not they have a future at Liverpool at all.

There are nine Liverpool players whose contracts are currently set to expire in the summer of 2023, which will be two years from the end of the season.

That point in time is normally where big decisions are made: either a new deal is awarded, or at least talks begin over one, or the necessary pieces might begin to be put in place to facilitate a transfer away.

For some of those nine - take Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho, for instance - that decision is pretty clear. They will be offered new contracts and have an obvious long-term future.

But for others, it is not that simple, not least at a time when coronavirus is tightening budgets and pay rises for everyone might not be feasible.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is another of those to have just over two years remaining on his Liverpool contract.

He has missed the majority of this season through injury, having been out between August, when he picked up an issue during pre-season in Austria, returning in the win over Crystal Palace.

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That has meant he has made just one start so far this season, in the defeat at Southampton.

He has not looked close to being in a starting XI for Liverpool for some time as he bids to regain full sharpness.

"If [any player currently not playing is] going to start making a difference, now might be a good time because that extra quality is going to be needed," Ian Doyle said on the Blood Red podcast.

"For Oxlade-Chamberlain, he needs a run of games [to get back to his best]."

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But with so many options for Liverpool in the middle of the pitch, getting a regular run in the side for Oxlade-Chamberlain could prove difficult.

Even if he can stay fit, there will be rotation and his substitute performances have not warranted another start as of yet.

In mid-December, Klopp said it was 'completely dumb' for anyone to compare Oxlade-Chamberlain to his peak form, but getting him back to that eventually must be the end goal.

As discussed on the Poetry in Motion podcast, there is still a question mark over Keita's time at Liverpool, purely in terms of fitness, too.

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Keita, like Oxlade-Chamberlain, is another player who will have two years remaining on his contract at the end of the season.

The reasons for the drop - injuries - are clear, but at some point, a decision must be made over both player's futures.

With two years left on both contracts this coming summer, the time for that decision is going, very soon, to have arrived.