Anthony Le Tallec regrets Reds loans
French striker Anthony Le Tallec admitted he continues to look back on his time at Liverpool with regret after he failed to establish himself in the Anfield first-team.
Le Tallec, now 28, signed for the Premier League club along with Florent Sinama-Pongolle when he was still a teenager and when compatriot Gérard Houllier was in charge on Merseyside.
It is now a decade since he first broke into the Liverpool first-team, but his appearances became more fleeting once Rafael Benitez arrived in 2004 and he went on to leave the club on loan, never establishing himself at Anfield after spells at Saint-Etienne, Sunderland and Sochaux.
Now, however, Le Tallec says he wishes he had stayed put and fought to win a place in Benitez's line-up.
"My big regret is asking Rafael Benitez to send me out on loan in my second season (in 2004)," he told Le Parisien. "I was young and without doubt badly advised at the time. I should have shut my mouth and worked like mad like everybody else.
"I thought that with the arrival of all these Spanish players at the time, I would be forgotten. It was the turning point of my career, but it's not over yet!"
An under-17 world champion in 2001, Le Tallec has never truly fulfilled his potential, although he has enjoyed relative success with some of France's more modest clubs, first with Le Mans and then with Auxerre, for whom he featured in the Champions League in 2010-11.
He joined Valenciennes a year ago following Auxerre's relegation, and scored five goals in his first six games, but his form tailed away before an Achilles operation in March brought his season to a premature end. Nevertheless, he maintains hope of playing in Europe again before the end of his career.
"I am still ambitious. I want to play for a big club again, play in Europe. Otherwise I wouldn't get out of bed every morning and train like a dog," he added.