For every record-smashing, blockbuster transfer coup of the likes of Virgil Van Dijk and Alisson Becker that Liverpool have secured in their return to prominence, there has been a Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané and Andy Robertson—players considered at the time as “backup” options to first-choice recruits who turned out to be just as stunningly successful.
As the Reds prepare to host third-placed Leicester City in Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers’ return to Anfield, Liverpool fans will be reminded of one of those acts of providence that led them to sign Robertson from Hull City instead of the player who will be his opposite number on Saturday, left back Ben Chilwell.
The young Englishman was mooted to be a Reds target in the summer of 2016, with a deal ultimately failing to materialize. The 22-year-old, who has gone on to make 95 appearances for the 2015-16 Premier League champions and win eight caps with the national side, stands by his decision to turn down both Jürgen Klopp as well as now-boss Rodgers two seasons earlier to remain at the King Power Stadium:
“Definitely no regrets,” Chilwell said speaking to Sky Sports When I look at how the last four or five years have gone, starting eight games now for the England team is something I’m very happy with.
”I was 17 at the time. My agent was the one dealing with it all, talking to Liverpool and Leicester about the situation.
”At the time, I was trying to break into the U21 team at Leicester so I was just focused on getting into that and progressing into the first team here.”
Liverpool supporters will begrudge the youngster nothing as the defender’s refusal to move to Anfield simply opened the door to Scotland captain and arguably the world’s premier left back in Robertson.
That’s what they call a win-win-win, folks.