Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Georginio Wijnaldum, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita, Adam Lallana and James Milner constitute Jurgen Klopp’s options in the Liverpool midfield at the moment. Not so long ago, Phillipe Coutinho was among those who provided another option in a more creative mould for Liverpool. However, the Liverpool midfield could have sported a vastly different look had Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez’s efforts come to fruition.
Back when Brendan Rodgers was at the helm at Liverpool, the club’s ambitions for success in Europe brought them to the door of then-Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos. Toni Kroos had then decided it was time for a new challenge after spending seven seasons with the Bavarian giants. In a recent interview with The Athletic, Toni Kroos revealed that he was courted by not one, but two Premier League giants in 2014.
Liverpool and Manchester United were the two clubs that retained a major interest in the German metronome back in 2014. In the interview, Toni Kroos revealed that Liverpool duo Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez texted him with a view of bringing him to Anfield. “It wasn’t a straight chat-up line but they offered to tell me more about the club and so on. The funny thing was, Suarez was about to leave to Barcelona anyway,” he said. However, Toni Kroos already had a deal with Manchester United in place.
“David Moyes had come to see me and the contract had basically been done but then Moyes was fired and Louis van Gaal came in, which complicated matters. Louis wanted time to build his own project. I didn’t hear anything from United for a while and started having doubts. Then the World Cup started and Carlo Ancelotti called. And that was it,” Toni Kroos said to The Athletic.
Had the Toni Kroos transfer panned out for Liverpool, the Reds could have tasted Champions League success and, quite possibly, Premier League success well before 2019. Alongside Phillippe Coutinho and Steven Gerrard, Toni Kroos would have formed one of the most inventive midfield threes in world football.
Toni Kroos and Real Madrid will host Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabeu this week as they look to extend Pep Guardiola’s barren spell in the Champions League. In his three previous seasons with Man City, Pep Guardiola and his men have failed to make it beyond the semi-final in Europe. A defeat at the Bernabeu could spell trouble for Pep Guardiola, especially since a two-year Champions League ban hangs like a sword over the club’s head. Toni Kroos, who played under Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, will be under no illusions when they welcome Man City this week.
“I’m looking forward to the tie. It will be extremely interesting — possession against possession. They will put everything in it now that the league is gone for them but so will we. Both teams can play on the break but the main aim will be to have the ball. As I see it, the key is to defend well when you can’t win it back immediately and use the bits of space that always open up in transition better than they will. A few individual moments like that will decide the tie.” – Toni Kroos to The Athletic