Former Liverpool CEO Ian Ayre has revealed that the club missed out on signing Dele Alli when he was at MK Dons due to his personal demands.
It’s always easy to look back and think what could have been after missing out on a target or letting a youngster go who turns into a superstar.
This is a perfect example of that, as Alli has gone on to bag 20 goals and 11 assists in 45 appearances in all competitions this season while also establishing himself as an England international all at the age of 21.
However, Ayre has revealed that Liverpool were close to snapping him up before Tottenham came on the scene, but Alli’s personal demands were not in line with what the club were willing to offer him.
“There was interest in the player, but where it got to was that the demands at that time were not fitting to what he had achieved at that point,” Ayre told a lecture at Liverpool’s St George’s Hall.
“We didn’t feel the player matched that demand. It’s easy to sit and say ‘look what you could have bought’, but how many players could you apply the reverse of that to? That’s the truth.”
Sky Sports even report that the youngster is a lifelong Liverpool fan, had met then-manager Brendan Rodgers and had been on a tour of the Melwood training ground.
Ayre also discussed the likes of Luis Suarez and Alexis Sanchez, but ultimately it will be Alli who could turn out to be the biggest regret as he continues to play a fundamental role in Tottenham’s push for major honours.
On one hand you could argue that hindsight is a wonderful thing. On the other, some Liverpool fans may bemoan not showing faith in him as he had evidently caught the club’s attention and was worth the gamble with Tottenham now benefitting significantly.