Liverpool midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai has congratulated Josko Gvardiol on completing a move to Manchester City.
Gvardiol had been named as a potential target for Liverpool themselves in the run-up to the summer transfer window. The Croatian is even a self-confessed Reds fan. But just like fellow boyhood Liverpool supporter Kevin De Bruyne, Gvardiol has ended up at City.
Not many Liverpool players will be too pleased with that news as they look to get back on the Champions’ level next season. But having played with the centre-back at RB Leipzig, Szoboszlai is an exception and he took to his Instagram stories to send Gvardiol a message.
“What a spieler [player],” wrote the 22-year-old. “Congrats brother (neighbors)” (sic).
Liverpool and City players have been criticised in recent times for being close despite the intense rivalry of their teams. It looks like that might be taken a new level with Gvardiol and Szoboszlai next season.
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Szoboszlai welcomes Gvardiol
Liverpool fans may not thank Szoboszlai for being quite so openly welcoming of a player they thought they should be signing.
You can forgive the Hungarian, though. He’s merely excited for a man he was up until recently a teammate of.
But, nevertheless, you do wonder whether the senior members of Liverpool’s squad may just have word here. City may not be anything like Manchester United or Everton level, but they’re rivals all the same.
There’s also the optics of City pipping Liverpool to a player who by all accounts would prefer to be playing for them. With the Reds in need of a left-sided centre-back, Gvardiol would have been perfect. Now Pep Guardiola has him.
Away from the frustration of that, maybe this could end up being a tiny, tiny positive for Liverpool.
As a new signing, Szoboszlai does need to settle in at the club and in the country. Maybe having a familiar face nearby will help him with that. Clutching, we know.
When City’s move for Gvardiol hit the buffers recently, Szoboszlai £60m arrival at Liverpool had actually looked like it might stop this transfer from happening. Alas, the City juggernaut rolls on. No niceties on the pitch please, Dom.