Liverpool’s approach for Norwich City’s 22-year-old left back Jamal Lewis last week saw the Reds propose a £10M deal for the promising young Northern Ireland international. Norwich, though, valued the player at twice that amount, asking £20M for him.
With such a massive gap in valuation, and with Liverpool not willing to invest so significant a fee in a backup left back who even in the best case scenario might not challenge incumbent Andy Robertson for the starting job, the Reds quickly moved on.
It seems as though it should be a nothing story. Two clubs with significantly different valuations of a player and the potential buying club moving on when that became clear rather than engaging in a drawn-out process trying to wear down the seller.
Only today, sources with ties to Norwich at local papers are claiming the Championship club feel that Liverpool showed “a lack of respect” by failing to engage with them after it became clear that the two sides had wildly differing valuations of the player.
Further, Norwich were justified in wanting £20M as Bournemouth sold Nathan Ake—a centre half three years older who played nearly five times as many Premier League games and was being eyed up by Chelsea—to Manchester City for twice that amount
Yet even if one were to accept the claim that £20M was a fair valuation for Lewis, there is no onus on Liverpool to pay that amount. Norwich wanted £20M. Liverpool didn’t want to pay that much. Liverpool moved on. Now Norwich appear to be upset about it.
It’s all, frankly, a little bizarre. If Norwich needed the money and were hoping to force Liverpool into paying an inflated fee, they’ve only got themselves to blame. If they really believe Lewis is a £20M player, they should be happy to have held on to him.
Instead, the club are planting stories in the local press about big bad bullies Liverpool. For making an offer for one of their players and then moving on quickly when it appeared there was a gap in valuation so large a compromise was unlikely.