Liverpool briefly considered making a move for Borussia Dortmund starlet Mario Gotze in the summer of 2011, but instead the club chose to pursue and eventually sign Jordan Henderson from Sunderland.
The Times report that former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish and the club’s former director of football Damien Comolli that the Germany international was briefly considered when the club outlined their summer transfer plans, only to discard his name and push forward with their efforts to bring Henderson to Anfield. Since then, the former Sunderland midfielder has flattered to deceive, struggling to impose himself on Brendan Rodgers’ side, whereas Gotze has continued to prove why he is considered one of the most prodigious talents in world football.
Comolli was appointed Director of football Strategy in late 2010, and working alongside Dalglish, helped the club sign Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam, Sebastian Coates, Craig Bellamy, Jose Enrique in addition to Henderson in the summer of 2011. With the exception of Enrique, Comolli’s dealings have seemingly fallen short of expectation. The Daily Mail also report that Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud and Manchester United playmaker Shinji Kagawa were also targets under Comolli’s tenure, but were overlooked in favour of others.
Perhaps the most controversial comment on Comolli’s time upon Merseyside was the £35 million acquisition of Andy Carroll from Newcastle United, a deal which Comolli still defends.
“If you want to talk about the Carroll deal, the situation was quite clear,” the former Tottenham Hotspur Director of Football said, The Daily Mail report.
“The way we looked at it, we were selling two players – Fernando Torres and Ryan Babel – and we were bringing two in – Suarez and Carroll – and we were making a profit and the wage bill was coming down considerably as well. It was a four-player deal.”
“Chelsea kept bidding higher and higher for Torres. The difference between their first and final bid is double.
“They [FSG] asked me what the risks were and I said if things don’t go well you’ll lose something on Andy, but it is difficult to measure whether you will make money if things go well because Liverpool aren’t a selling club and he could be here for the next 10 years.”