Eddie Howe has revealed that Newcastle “liked” Dominik Szoboszlai earlier in the transfer window, but Liverpool managed to get the signing done.
The Reds have lost out on numerous star names this summer. The main one was Moises Caicedo, who they had agreed to sign for £110million from Brighton, before he embarrassed them by turning the move down to instead join Chelsea.
They also bid over the odds for Romeo Lavia, but he is also now at Stamford Bridge rather than Anfield. There have been a few positives for the Reds, who got moves for Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister over the line early.
While the positives have been rare, rival manager Howe has offered them another, as he stated ahead of his Newcastle side meeting the Reds this weekend that he wanted to sign Szoboszlai, but Liverpool got the deal done first.
“Sure we liked him. He’s had a really good start to his career, captain of his country at a really young age, I think that tells you about his mentality,” Howe said, quoted by Newcastle World.
“Very good technical player. It was quite an expensive purchase for us. There’s lots that goes into every transfer but he’s certainly one that we liked.”
That the manager of a side that finished above Liverpool last season is so complimentary about one of their players is a plus for the Reds. Amid a summer of not getting deals over the line, snatching a player that a rival side were keen on is big for Klopp’s side.
Of course, they triggered Szoboszlai’s release clause, and didn’t have to work all too hard for the snare. Newcastle, had they wanted to splash £60million, could just as easily done the same.
But for Liverpool, they’ll take solace in the knowledge that they got one over on a direct rival.
Of course, they’ll also hope Szoboszlai has a good season so that’s even sweeter. He has started well, having looked positive in each game so far, breaking into attacking positions frequently, and winning a penalty against Bournemouth.