Ex-Liverpool star John Aldridge has claimed his former club rejected the chance to sign Seamus Coleman before he moved to Everton for 60,000 pounds in January 2009.
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Writing in his column for Ireland’s Sunday World newspaper, Aldridge said Coleman was offered to Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez before he sealed his move to Everton from League of Ireland side Sligo Rovers.
Coleman has since emerged as one of the most valuable attacking full-backs in the Premier League, with Aldridge saying Liverpool missed a trick in failing to snap him up.
“If Rafael Benitez had been a little more open-minded during his final year as Liverpool manager, Seamus Coleman could be wearing a red shirt at Anfield last night and not a blue Everton jersey,” Aldridge wrote.
“Back in my days as Tranmere manager, Liverpool-born Paul Cook was one of the players in my squad and he went on to manage Sligo Rovers during a period when a young Coleman emerged through the ranks and started to make a name for himself in the League of Ireland.
“Paul knew this kid was top drawer and he rang some contacts at Liverpool and tried to encourage them to take a look at Coleman, but Benitez rejected his advances and said he wasn’t interested. What a mistake that proved to be.
“Everton stepped in with an offer of just 60,000 pounds to sign Coleman and he has now established himself, in my eyes at least, as the best full-back in the Premier League this season.
“Every time I see him, I can’t help but lament what might have been for Liverpool because at a time when my old club are crying out for a quality attacking full-backs, we only have to look across Stanley Park to see who could and should have been doing that job right now.”
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has hinted in recent weeks that he is looking for reinforcements in the right-back position.