They say hindsight is always 20/20, and it’s easy to look back on a moment in a career and think there’s definitely something someone would’ve done differently. Unfortunately, one of Liverpool’s greatest players did not turn into one of their greatest managers in the 90’s, and recently only added to the list of whys it didn’t work out. Graeme Souness revealed that he had the opportunity to sign not only Eric Cantona but Peter Schmeichel as well. Two players who who were integral for rival club Manchester United;s dominance in the 90’s - after Liverpool passed on them.
"I missed out on two players who went on to become Manchester United legends," Souness said on Sunday.
"Ron Yeats, the chief scout then, told me there was a young Danish goalkeeper - Peter Schmeichel - who was a Liverpool fan and willing to pay his own travel and hotel in exchange for some time with us.
"I was trying to ease out Bruce Grobbelaar and that was proving a hassle, plus I had just signed David James, so I thought I could do without a rookie goalkeeper.”
Not only did Schmeichel turn out to be arguably United’s greatest goalkeeper, but the fact that he was willing to pay for his own airfare and hotel to meet with Liverpool probably weighs heavily on Souness.
Along with Schmeichel, Souness was approached with the chance to sign Eric Cantona but ultimately turned that down as well.
"Eric Cantona was another I missed out on," Souness continued. "We played Auxerre at home and Michel Platini came to see me afterwards. He said he had a player for me, a problem boy but a proper player.
"It was Cantona, but I said the last thing I needed was another problem player. I had 30-pluses I was trying to get out, so I didn't need more hassle. I said I was looking for something else and so it was no thanks."
Considering the contributions those players went on to add to the club they ultimately chose later, this particular piece of hindsight isn’t great. A whole case of what ifs can pop up, even now over twenty years later. The Reds can only hope to not repeat the same mistakes going forward.