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Ones That Got Away

Limiescouse

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Was reading about the Ronaldo saga a while back, apparently he was requesting huge wages for someone of his age so we decided against it. Would have been a drop in the ocean to what he could have brought to the team!
I actually don't think so. When Utd eventually bought him it was for a fee that would have been considered bug for everyone except for them. They had spent twice as much on a player a few times previously and he wasn't even their most expensive signing of the summer. However, for us, not only would he have been our record signing, but his fee was more than we spent in the entire summer that year. He initially did not live up to expectations to the point he was a punchline for his first two seasons. Under the different circumstances of us being a team that was playing catch up and that spent less money, he could not have got away with those two years that he was allowed to have at Utd. I think he'd have ended up that generation's Memphis Depay had he signed for us.
 
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igor_piss_can

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I actually don't think so. When Utd eventually bought him it was for a fee that would have been considered bug for everyone except for them. They had spent twice as much on a player a few times previously and he wasn't even their most expensive signing of the summer. However, for us, not only would he have been our record signing, but his fee was more than we spent in the entire summer that year. He initially did not live up to expectations to the point he was a punchline for his first two seasons. Under the different circumstances of us being a team that was playing catch up and that spent less money, he could not have got away with those two years that he was allowed to have at Utd. I think he'd have ended up that generation's Memphis Depay had he signed for us.
I read an interview with Houllier a while back where he said that Ronaldo was after a salary that would have smashed the current wage structure and inevitably caused ructions within the squad, so we dropped out. I presume it was only early stages because as you said I wouldn't have really expected us to pay the fee Utd paid for him at the time, unless Utd were aware we were in for him and came in with an offer to blow us out of the water.

I think you could have a point with how he'd have fared at us too, he was far from the finished article for the first few years at Utd. Upon reflection I think the last thing our fans would have appreciated after spaffing £10M on Diouf the previous summer would have been an inconsistent showboater with blonde highlights doing stepovers every third touch. Would have probably been given a dog's life by the boo boys & sent on loan after six months lol
 

JibJab

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I'm still baffled that we managed to let Dele Alli get away.

I take the Ronaldo stuff with a grain of salt. I don't know what to believe about the rationale for us letting him get to Manure - Houllier is obviously going to try to rationalize it by citing his alleged wage demands, but I'm not sure if that's the whole truth there.
 

Danny_

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I read an interview with Houllier a while back where he said that Ronaldo was after a salary that would have smashed the current wage structure and inevitably caused ructions within the squad, so we dropped out. I presume it was only early stages because as you said I wouldn't have really expected us to pay the fee Utd paid for him at the time, unless Utd were aware we were in for him and came in with an offer to blow us out of the water.

I think you could have a point with how he'd have fared at us too, he was far from the finished article for the first few years at Utd. Upon reflection I think the last thing our fans would have appreciated after spaffing £10M on Diouf the previous summer would have been an inconsistent showboater with blonde highlights doing stepovers every third touch. Would have probably been given a dog's life by the boo boys & sent on loan after six months lol
Nobody knew how good he was going to be back then and hindsight is 20:20. Still, if we had a manager like Klopp or even Rafa in charge, I don't think we would have passed on him. Ronaldo was asking for a bit more than Le Tallec and Pongolle but after I saw him for one game, I could see why. Ronaldo would have shone at any club he went to so I have to respectfully disagree with you on that point.

To be honest, Houllier just really sucked at identifying good attacking players. Anelka was another example. I believe we also passed on Samuel Eto while he was in charge. Eto wanted to join us before he went to Barca and I even remember what he said "Myself and Michael Owen will form a partnership that will make their tongues hang out" or something to that effect. We passed. Such decisions determine your history. Imagine if we had passed on Fabinho, Salah and Mane. With someone else in charge, that could easily have happened. It would have happened if we still had Houllier. In any case, it's all water under the bridge now.

Edit: Actually, correction. Houllier probably would have bought Fabinho because he could definitely pick out a good defensive midfielder.
 

roydom

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Nobody knew how good he was going to be back then and hindsight is 20:20. Still, if we had a manager like Klopp or even Rafa in charge, I don't think we would have passed on him. Ronaldo was asking for a bit more than Le Tallec and Pongolle but after I saw him for one game, I could see why. Ronaldo would have shone at any club he went to so I have to respectfully disagree with you on that point.

To be honest, Houllier just really sucked at identifying good attacking players. Anelka was another example. I believe we also passed on Samuel Eto while he was in charge. Eto wanted to join us before he went to Barca and I even remember what he said "Myself and Michael Owen will form a partnership that will make their tongues hang out" or something to that effect. We passed. Such decisions determine your history. Imagine if we had passed on Fabinho, Salah and Mane. With someone else in charge, that could easily have happened. It would have happened if we still had Houllier. In any case, it's all water under the bridge now.

Edit: Actually, correction. Houllier probably would have bought Fabinho because he could definitely pick out a good defensive midfielder.
At one stage we had so many defensive midfielders I thought we were trying to corner the market for that position and create our own monopoly.
 

Flobs

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At one stage we had so many defensive midfielders I thought we were trying to corner the market for that position and create our own monopoly.
Then ended up with none. Strange how things work out in time. :think:
Of course the game and hence the market changed, these days good DM's are scarce to come by.
 

Limiescouse

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I'm still baffled that we managed to let Dele Alli get away.

I take the Ronaldo stuff with a grain of salt. I don't know what to believe about the rationale for us letting him get to Manure - Houllier is obviously going to try to rationalize it by citing his alleged wage demands, but I'm not sure if that's the whole truth there.
Honestly, I dont think he's played well enough for 2 maybe 3 years to fret over it anymore. At one time it looked like a huge loss, but on this form he isnt a loss.
 

Zoran

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Maybe we'd use him differently, let's not exaggerate. I agree, his level has dropped a bit (and diving), but basically every club would still have him then and looking back now. Of course it's a loss overall. Though I understand why he went to Spurs, wanted more guaranteed game time. And we at the time, we were in a mess.
 

Danny_

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I actually don't think so. When Utd eventually bought him it was for a fee that would have been considered bug for everyone except for them. They had spent twice as much on a player a few times previously and he wasn't even their most expensive signing of the summer. However, for us, not only would he have been our record signing, but his fee was more than we spent in the entire summer that year. He initially did not live up to expectations to the point he was a punchline for his first two seasons. Under the different circumstances of us being a team that was playing catch up and that spent less money, he could not have got away with those two years that he was allowed to have at Utd. I think he'd have ended up that generation's Memphis Depay had he signed for us.
They were actually offering Ronaldo to us for a little bit more than half what United paid. United were like Man City back in those days and Porto knew that they could add on the extra fee if they really wanted the player. They only came in for him after they played a friendly against Porto at the end of the summer and played against him. I think they paid about 12m for him. We could have gotten him for 7 or 8 before that. The fee wasn't the issue.

And when he signed for United, after his first game, people were saying that they might have signed the best player in the world. Point being that you didn't have to be a genius to see that he had the potential to be world class. Then he had a dip in form - of course he did. He was 18 years old. Saying that he might have turned out to be that generations Memphis Depay is ridiculous. Not only was it really really obvious that he was going to be a great player but he was also exactly the type of player we needed at that time. We didn't have anyone that could run past other players. He might not have been in the top two in the world had he gone to another club other than United but he would definitely have been one of the best players in the world, even if he had ended up at a mid-table club like Fulham.
 

Kopstar

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Maybe we'd use him differently, let's not exaggerate. I agree, his level has dropped a bit (and diving), but basically every club would still have him then and looking back now. Of course it's a loss overall. Though I understand why he went to Spurs, wanted more guaranteed game time. And we at the time, we were in a mess.
Nicely done :well done:
 

Dhoff3

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Don't know how seriously we were in for them but I do recall some interest in Christian Ericksen and David Silva before they went to Spurs and City. If you were to believe the hundreds of pages on these forums, Silva was close!

More realistic options, while I understand player for player trades rarely happen, sounded like Madrid were eager to offer us either Wesley Sniejder or Robben years back for Alonso. I'd have take either, especially Robben, he still had a lot of good years in him back then. Alas, we wanted Aquilani instead.
 

Red over the water

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The way football is these days, you would have to think up to half a dozen clubs would be able to say they were in for a given player, who then went elsewhere. Obviously the list of clubs whittles down the closer to a completed deal you get, but I could imagine someone at Everton putting in a phone call for Ronaldo in 2003, not having the call returned, but then claiming, “We were in for Ronaldo...”
 

Limiescouse

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They were actually offering Ronaldo to us for a little bit more than half what United paid. United were like Man City back in those days and Porto knew that they could add on the extra fee if they really wanted the player. They only came in for him after they played a friendly against Porto at the end of the summer and played against him. I think they paid about 12m for him. We could have gotten him for 7 or 8 before that. The fee wasn't the issue.

And when he signed for United, after his first game, people were saying that they might have signed the best player in the world. Point being that you didn't have to be a genius to see that he had the potential to be world class. Then he had a dip in form - of course he did. He was 18 years old. Saying that he might have turned out to be that generations Memphis Depay is ridiculous. Not only was it really really obvious that he was going to be a great player but he was also exactly he type of player we needed at that time. We didn't have anyone that could run past other players. He might not have been in the top two in the world had he gone to another club other than United but he would definitely have been one of the best players in the world, even if he had ended up at a mid-table club like Fulham.
I think what you under appreciate is that talent and hard work alone are rarely enough for success in football. In many cases talented and hard working players find themselves in a situation not well suited to what they need at that time and they get churned out. Once up and coming players "fail" at a club like ours, it is rare they get the chance to fully redeem themselves.

Everyone knew Ronaldo was immensely talented. But he was also incredibly frustrating, unfocused and unproductive for a full 2 seasons. Yes, I acknowledge he was only 18 and so none of this was surprising, but that is my point. However, even while acknowledging that what was being alleged was the fee we were being quoted was not quite the full 12 million he went to Utd for, it was still most of the way there. It is important to remember just how expensive 8 million was back then. It would have been a very big fee for us, and so ay player bought at that fee would be required to deliver immediately. At utd, given their spending ability, he was under no such pressure. Sure, he was playing for Utd and so under a certain sort of pressure, but not the sort that says "we spent this money on you and now we have no more money to spend on anyone else". Under those circumstances we would not have been able to wait for the fancy tricks and step overs to give way to the productivity that he eventually found during his 4th season.
 

Danny_

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I think what you under appreciate is that talent and hard work alone are rarely enough for success in football. In many cases talented and hard working players find themselves in a situation not well suited to what they need at that time and they get churned out. Once up and coming players "fail" at a club like ours, it is rare they get the chance to fully redeem themselves.

Everyone knew Ronaldo was immensely talented. But he was also incredibly frustrating, unfocused and unproductive for a full 2 seasons. Yes, I acknowledge he was only 18 and so none of this was surprising, but that is my point. However, even while acknowledging that what was being alleged was the fee we were being quoted was not quite the full 12 million he went to Utd for, it was still most of the way there. It is important to remember just how expensive 8 million was back then. It would have been a very big fee for us, and so ay player bought at that fee would be required to deliver immediately. At utd, given their spending ability, he was under no such pressure. Sure, he was playing for Utd and so under a certain sort of pressure, but not the sort that says "we spent this money on you and now we have no more money to spend on anyone else". Under those circumstances we would not have been able to wait for the fancy tricks and step overs to give way to the productivity that he eventually found during his 4th season.
I agree to some extent and you are right - paying around 10m for him was like paying 30-40m in today's market if you allow for inflation. But there are some players that you just can't pass on - Ronaldo was one of them, an 18 year old Messi would have been the same. Even at that early age, it was so obvious that he was going to be one of the best players in the world. I worked that out after watching him for about 10 mins. And after United signed him, I thought to myself - this is a player that is going to torment us for years (and he did). Also, part of the reason he had a slow start (if you want to call it that for an 18 year old) was that it was not easy to force his way into that United team.

Coaching is important, yes. But finding and handling talent is the most critical part or being a manager. We looked a gift horse in the mouth and we threw away the golden opportunity. Anyway, it's all part of our history now. Que sera
 

ptt

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This has to top it. That one decision by Houllier may have changed the course of history.


Also, as bad maybe was Souness passing on Roy Keane.
But you can’t say for sure that that Ronaldo would have become the one who’s playing now. Would we have the Mo we have now if we’d have signed him when we originally lost him to Chelsea? We’ll never know but it is certainly not a given.
 

Danny_

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But you can’t say for sure that that Ronaldo would have become the one who’s playing now. Would we have the Mo we have now if we’d have signed him when we originally lost him to Chelsea? We’ll never know but it is certainly not a given.
Perhaps but I would have liked to see the version of history where Ronaldo as a Liverpool player. And I did a bit of digging because I remember the fee being much less than what he went for in the end because we had scouted him much earlier than United. And supposedly, we were being offered him for 4m at one point did not want to break our strict wage structure for young players.
 

The Elusive 19th

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Houllier preferred Diouf :-(

Actually, who were those strikers we enquired about before we ended up signing Carroll? I know one was Llorente (possibly another mention for the 'bullets dodged' thread), but I'm sure there was one other who was actually good.

I guess there's Loic Remy as well, would have been a decent enough signing at that time in our development.
From what I recall, Mario Gomez said a straight no.
Auguero asked us to wait for 6 months as it was middle of the season and he wanted to complete his current commitments.
Actually how about trying every player and his dog. I am pretty sure, everyone said no.
 

Zinedine Biscan

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From what I recall, Mario Gomez said a straight no.
Auguero asked us to wait for 6 months as it was middle of the season and he wanted to complete his current commitments.
Actually how about trying every player and his dog. I am pretty sure, everyone said no.
Actually it might have been Gomez I was thinking of. Wow... Carroll, Gomez or Llorente - maybe another couple of names there for the bullets dodged thread!
 

Limiescouse

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I agree to some extent and you are right - paying around 10m for him was like paying 30-40m in today's market if you allow for inflation. But there are some players that you just can't pass on - Ronaldo was one of them, an 18 year old Messi would have been the same. Even at that early age, it was so obvious that he was going to be one of the best players in the world. I worked that out after watching him for about 10 mins. And after United signed him, I thought to myself - this is a player that is going to torment us for years (and he did). Also, part of the reason he had a slow start (if you want to call it that for an 18 year old) was that it was not easy to force his way into that United team.
As closely associated as they have become, at the earlier stage of their career Messi and Ronaldo were drastically different. There was never any doubt about Ronaldo's talent, but he was for those first few years mostly a show pony. Far more likely to lose the ball than to do anything productive with it. In Messi's first full year in senior football he scored a number of goals it would take Ronaldo 5 years of senior football to hit (albeit, Messi was slightly older than Ronaldo in their respective first full seasons). Ronaldo then was a million miles then from the freakishly productive player he became. If you saw it during his first season then good for you (although with all due respect I doubt it). However, even if you did, the question still needs to be asked, could a liverpool side in the position we were in at the time accommodate an unproductive footballing black hole for the 3-4 years it took for him to be worth the money, and bought at a cost that would have necessarily prevented us buying the other players we needed to bridge the gap we were trying to bridge?
 

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GermanRed

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Klopp wanted to sign Jean-Philippe Gbamin in January 2018 as 'a CB who would also play in midfield from time time', according to the players agent.

Mainz 05 (Klopps former club as player and manager) were not open to sell because they were fighting against relegation during that time.

 

roydom

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Tim Flowers is another. I remember Souey wanted to sign him but seemingly it was too late as the player had already agreed to go to Blackburn. He could have been the difference.
 

Zoran

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We had, probably back when he was at Galatasaray. Barca splashing money on him was another dumb move by them (and for one of the biggest clubs around, they had a good few in their 25 most expensive arrivals or so), never understood that transfer. They'll never get that money back, he's now back in Turkey on a two-year loan.
 

SithBaare

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They were actually offering Ronaldo to us for a little bit more than half what United paid. United were like Man City back in those days and Porto knew that they could add on the extra fee if they really wanted the player. They only came in for him after they played a friendly against Porto at the end of the summer and played against him. I think they paid about 12m for him. We could have gotten him for 7 or 8 before that. The fee wasn't the issue.

And when he signed for United, after his first game, people were saying that they might have signed the best player in the world. Point being that you didn't have to be a genius to see that he had the potential to be world class. Then he had a dip in form - of course he did. He was 18 years old. Saying that he might have turned out to be that generations Memphis Depay is ridiculous. Not only was it really really obvious that he was going to be a great player but he was also exactly the type of player we needed at that time. We didn't have anyone that could run past other players. He might not have been in the top two in the world had he gone to another club other than United but he would definitely have been one of the best players in the world, even if he had ended up at a mid-table club like Fulham.
I'd like to take the parallel of Nani to cr7. It was obvious that cr7 was going to be a great player. People did feel the same about Nani. Nani did possess a lot of traits that cr7 had when he was starting.

Imo , it's about kicking on to prove yourself as the top dog. That's the attitude and is impossible to gauge unless you are at the club.

There are loads of duds we've signed who had the talent. But the head.
 



Andy Mac

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Wasn’t Aaron Ramsey a pretty much done deal but the board wouldn’t sanction the fee (around £5m?) I’m 100% sure if I recall that Rodgers had agreed everything with the player and his agent, he went back to get final sign off from the board and they said no. In stepped Arsenal and off he went.
 

The Elusive 19th

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Wasn’t Aaron Ramsey a pretty much done deal but the board wouldn’t sanction the fee (around £5m?) I’m 100% sure if I recall that Rodgers had agreed everything with the player and his agent, he went back to get final sign off from the board and they said no. In stepped Arsenal and off he went.
Try Rafa instead BR....