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Roberto Martínez Says He Wanted Carragher at Everton and Wigan Athletic

The former Everton manager wanted the Liverpool legend to be a player-coach.

Aston Villa v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Jamie Carragher may have grown up supporting Everton, but his name will forever be linked with Liverpool after spending 17 years playing for the Reds. However, if former Everton manager Roberto Martínez had had his way, Carragher would have ended his career in Everton blue rather than Liverpool red.

Martínez recently appeared on Carragher’s “Greatest Game” podcast, and he revealed his desire to sign the former Liverpool defender after his retirement in 2013. The Spaniard had just been named as the new manager for the Toffees, and he wanted to bring on Carragher as a player-coach.

“I remember that we were looking for an assistant. Yes (a player-coach). I remember when we were at Everton we were discussing the assistant role,” said Martínez. “I knew you were a Blue when you were a youngster so I thought that could be a good fit. But when I mentioned it to our great chairman, Bill Kenwright, he thought maybe you were a little bit too Red for the role.”

Martínez then went on to explain that this was not the first time he considered making a move for the Scouser. When he was managing Wigan Athletic, before taking the Everton job, Martínez tried to make a move for Carragher to bring experience and leadership to a side that was fighting to stave off relegation year after year.

“I tried to sign you for Wigan as well,” he said. “I always felt that there are systems that need an age, a youth, or an experience.”

“In a back three, the way we wanted to play, I think having an old head with experience could work. I always saw you that you could be perfect in that role. You could play in a back three and slowly have that opportunity to develop young players and the coaching side.”

It’s strange to imagine Jamie Carragher ever playing in a shirt without a Liver bird on the chest, but it’s interesting to think that it may have been a possibility. Thankfully Bill Kenwright made sure Liverpool supporters never had to see Martínez’s vision come to fruition.