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Liverpool avoided £92m transfer mistake after multiple bids

By Charles Cornwall

Liverpool avoided £92m transfer mistake after multiple bids

Liverpool made two bids for a Monaco winger in the summer of 2017.

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The French side surprised most by reaching the semi-final of the Champions League that season, before eventually falling to Juventus in the final four. The French side dumped out Pep Guardiola’s first Manchester City team in the process. A side containing the likes of Radamel Falcao, Bernardo Silva, Kylian Mbappé, Fabinho and Thomas Lemar won Ligue 1 but also plaudits from around the game for their attacking style.

Twenty five years ago, that great side might have been given another season to have another crack at winning the Champions League or to retain their title. But in the modern game, that just doesn’t happen anymore. The big cats of the European game came calling, and the side was promptly broken up that summer.

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One of those who had many suitors was Thomas Lemar. The French winger has dazzled many during that European run with his relentless energy and productivity. Lemar scored nine league goals and produced 12 assists in 2016/17. He got a further five in the Champions League.

Liverpool and Arsenal circled Lemar that summer. Both came in with massive bids, but Monaco tried to play one team off against the other. Liverpool bid in the region of £55m for him, then raised their offer at least once with a final bid made of £75m.

Monaco

Again, Monaco rejected it. At the very end of the transfer window, Arsenal came in with a mammoth £92m bid, which was again rejected by Monaco (that one hit their valuation but it was deemed too late in the window to find a replacement). In the end, Lemar stayed put and a year later, he joined Atlético Madrid for less money than Liverpool had originally offered in 2017.

Fast forward four underwhelming years under Diego Simeone and Lemar’s reputation isn’t anywhere close to being as high as it was in those halcyon days of 2017. According to reports, Atlético are touting him around Europe, with Arsenal and Everton both rejecting the chance to sign the 26-year-old.

There’s no telling how good (or bad) Lemar could’ve been at Liverpool had the deal gone through, but it could be looked at with a sigh of relief that Monaco did reject Liverpool’s offers that summer. Atlético seemed like an odd choice for a swashbuckling left winger to go and play, given Simeone’s aversion to attacking football.

 


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