Jurgen Klopp was recommended to sign Real Madrid winger Vinicius Junior whilst he was a 16-year-old still playing in Brazil.
That’s according to The Telegraph, who report that Liverpool scouts urged Klopp to sign the youngster in 2017.
The Reds were reportedly the first club to contact Vinicius’ then club Flamengo about a possible transfer. The scout in question is claimed to have recommended Liverpool got a ‘quick and cheap’ deal done before the South American Under-17 Championship that year.
It’s unclear why Liverpool didn’t act on this advice. Following Vinicius’ appearance at the tournament, Real Madrid pushed hard to sign him, eventually completing a deal worth £38.7m a year later.
Liverpool miss out on Vinicius
At the time, Liverpool’s decision not to act on their scout’s recommendation didn’t lead to any headlines. The player was a complete unknown and would remain so until Madrid went and signed him.
It probably didn’t help the player that his fee was so high despite having barely played senior football at all.
But after a couple of years acclimatising, Vinicius has really come into his own in 2021/22. He has 21 goals and 16 assists in all competitions for Real.
Still only twenty-one, he looks like he will end up being a visionary piece of business from the Spaniards.
There’s no guarantee that Vinicius’ trajectory would have been the same had he joined Liverpool. Moving to Madrid as a teenager from Brazil is no doubt different to moving to Mersyside.
Either way, Liverpool have already been made to regret their decision as Vinicius’ two goals dumped them out of the Champions League last season.
Fingers crossed The Reds can keep him quiet and stop him doing the same again tomorrow evening.