Liverpool forward Bobby Adekanye has cited a lack of opportunities for first-team football as the reason for leaving the Reds to join Lazio.
The 20-year old Nigerian-born Dutch winger joined Lazio on July 3rd on a free transfer, as noted by Goal.com. It came after Adekanye joined Liverpool’s U18 team from Barcelona’s U17 side in 2015, but he was unable to break into the senior team at Anfield.
Last season, Adekanye made 13 appearances across all competitions for the Liverpool U23s, scoring 3 goals and providing 2 assists.
The Dutchman featured for Liverpool’s senior squad during their pre-season friendlies, but he wasn’t able to make that crucial breakthrough in the 2018/19 campaign.
This is exactly the reason given by Adekanye for his departure from Anfield. As quoted by Inside Futbol, Adekanye told Voetbalzone: “At Liverpool I would go with the first team to the United States, but after that be with the Under-23s again. I did not like that, so I decided to leave.
“A number of clubs were interested in me, but I will not comment on it now. I don’t think it will be good for Lazio, all of that is in the past. The fact that a decision has been made on my future gives me a peace of mind. I got messages from agents and clubs all the time while I was relaxing on holiday. Now everyone knows what my team is, so they no longer have to be in touch with me.”
A few months ago while speaking to Voetbalzone, Adekanye said that Barcelona were among the clubs interested in him. The winger said: “I also heard from Barcelona, in the Netherlands Willem II came by. I can’t name the whole list of clubs now, because then we will be busy tomorrow. But there is interest from, among others, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain. In the summer I am going to talk about it with my family and agent Junior Minguella, I am not worried that I have no club.”
Now that Adekanye has left Liverpool and has signed for Lazio, he can hope to find more first team opportunities which could help him break into the Netherlands national team in the future.
However, competition for places is also fierce in the Italian capital, and so he will have to work hard and prove his potential to earn a chance to impress coach Simone Inzaghi, but leaving Liverpool seems like the sensible choice in order to secure a better chance of regular playing time.