Barcelona youngster Cristian Tello has revealed that he had an offer in the summer from Liverpool which he turned it down.
The Reds were heavily linked with the player, as manager Brendan Rodgers wanted to find a technically gifted wide-man to solve his wing problems. Also, he had a £8.7m release clause that caught the attention of several top clubs, including Liverpool.
Barcelona having seen one of their highly talented youngsters Thiago Alcantara leaving the club in the summer to join his former mentor Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, didn’t want to take any risk of losing yet another promising young talent. In the end, Tello signed a long term contract at the Catalan club, while his release clause has bumped up to £22m.
Tello has made two substitute appearances this season but is happy to fight to for his places under new coach Tata Martino.
He said: “I always wanted to stay here. The coach has confidence in me, I’m happy and ready to play. I knew that Liverpool were interested in me, but I never thought about leaving.”
Obviously, it was his final decision to stay back at his home town club, but has he really made the right choice by rejecting Liverpool?
Tello plays on the wings – both right and left (usually left) – and in that position he will have to face stiff competition from seasoned Internationals such as Pedro, Alexis Sanchez et al. At 22, it is time for him to shine at the international stages, especially after doing so well at junior levels, but if he doesn’t get enough chances at Barcelona (which probably will be the case), his chances of breaking into the Spanish team will also cease.
At Liverpool, he would have straight away walked into the first team and would have got ample playing time. Plus, under an intelligent manager and in less pressurized environment, his progress would have been smooth, if not better.
Most importantly, he would have added a different experience while playing abroad at such a tender age, which could have added an extra mileage to his game.
Now that, he has such a high price tag, very few clubs would go for him. If he shines at Barcelona, then nothing can be better for him, but if things go wayward as per his plans, in retrospection this decision to snub Liverpool could hurt him.