Brendan Rodgers sought to sign Dele Alli from MK Dons in the summer of 2014, but the club’s infamous transfer committee reportedly vetoed the deal.
Alli joined Tottenham in a £5million deal from MK Dons last January, but was loaned back to the then-League One club for the remainder of the season.
But he’s made a huge impression since moving to White Hart Lane over the summer and was the star performer as England beat France 2-0 on Tuesday night, with the midfielder’s performance rated as ‘close to faultless’ by Three Lions coach Roy Hodgson.
The player also won over all national press with his performance but it could have been a very different story for the boyhood Liverpool fan had the Reds followed through with their initial interest.
“I remember Istanbul, the FA Cup final, and the game against Olympiakos: Steven Gerrard just scoring amazing goals. Gerrard was a big influence on why I supported Liverpool,” Alli said in quotes attributed to the Liverpool Echo.
Alli, now 19, first came to Liverpool’s attention in early 2013 – just a few months after the player made his debut for MK Dons in the FA Cup at the age of 16.
According to the Echo, former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers monitored his progress closely throughout the following campaign, often sending scouts to check on his progress and receiving regular updates on the midfielder from MK Dons boss Karl Robinson, who had previously coached at Liverpool’s Kirkby Academy.
Former Liverpool scout Mel Johnson pushed for a move to go through but when negotiations over a potential transfer began in the summer of 2014 the fee and add-ons kept rising.
While Rodgers was keen to push the deal through, others members of the club’s transfer committee were not convinced Alli represented value for money and thought he could need more than a year to be ready for the Premier League.
Liverpool’s hesitation was Tottenham’s gain, with the midfielder now a regular in their central midfield and looking a good bet to win a place in England’s Euro 2016 squad next summer.