In the summer of 2013, Liverpool were linked to a series of major potential signings. Things all kicked off with Henrikh Mkhitaryan. In the end, though, the Armenian chose Borussia Dortmund for the promise of Champions League football. With a pair of pedestrian seasons in the Bundisliga since, few Liverpool fans will have gone on to mind missing out on him overmuch.
Then came Diego Costa, with Liverpool willing to trigger the striker’s release and force his sale from Atletico Madrid. The player, though, chose to remain where he was, signalling that even if Liverpool stumped up the cash, he wouldn’t be moving to Anfield. Having since then established himself at Chelsea, the controversial striker’s refusal to move has to go down as a major miss for Liverpool.
There was also a third major signing in the works for Liverpool that summer: Kyriakos Papadopoulos. The fiery young Greek centre half had impressed in the Bundisliga and internationally, and when he was linked with a £12M move, Liverpool fans saw the kind of player who could anchor the defence for a decade. A knee injury, though, meant too much risk, and Liverpool backed away.
Now, though, Bild have seen fit to revive talk of Papadopoulos making the switch to Anfield—and for a cut-rate fee. Papadopoulos’ return from his knee injury has been a slow and difficult one, and he has missed 19 games this season due to lingering issues. When he has played, he’s shown much of that old promise, but with just 14 appearances to go with 19 missed matches, he is clearly a high-risk target.
That high degree of risk is part of the reason why he might be available for a rumoured £5M this summer when he returns to Schalke from Bayer Leverkusen, where he’s spent the season on loan. And at £5M, it just might be worth gambling that the now 23-year-old is ready to put his knee injury fully behind him. That is, of course, assuming there’s any truth to the rumour.