Liverpool didn’t sign Nabil Fekir when they had the chance because of issues with the player’s personality, according to David Maddock.
The Daily Mirror‘s Northern Football Correspondent was a guest on Sky Sports‘ Sunday Supplement programme over the weekend (per Sky Sports) and claimed Jurgen Klopp opted against bringing the France international to Anfield because of how things were going throughout the negotiation process.
Maddock lauded the German manager’s ability to find the right personalities for his squad of players, which he felt had gone unnoticed, before revealing that the boss did not take a liking to how things were being handled in regards to Fekir.
“I think his greatest quality is to find the right personalities,” he said. “People have overlooked this.
“They nearly signed Nabil Fekir from Lyon last summer and in the end the reason they didn’t sign him was not because of the injury – and he did have an injury, which was a problem but they could have done the deal. There were other problems: he got his brother involved, began demanding more money, wouldn’t speak to the Liverpool people. Klopp was like, ‘we can’t have that personality in our squad’.
“He picks the right personalities who respond to his energy and his man-management. You can see it. They believe. Virgil van Dijk says often ‘this is special’. Klopp is responsible for that.”
Whilst an argument could be made that Liverpool still lack the type of player that Fekir could have been for him, it shows Klopp is more concerned about the harmony of his squad and does not want anyone to come into the dressing room and disrupt that.
Indeed, goals have, arguably, been lacking from those in midfield – with James Milner scoring seven, Georginio Wijnaldum netting five, Naby Keita hitting three whilst Jordan Henderson and Fabinho both had one apiece (per TransferMarkt) last season – but that did not stop them from lifting the Champions League title in Madrid.
Fekir may have completed a move to Betis instead for £17.7m (BBC), he so far has just two goals in his first six La Liga appearances for the club (TransferMarkt), whilst Liverpool appear to have gone from strength-to-strength with their current side as they have scored a total of 20 goals and lead the Premier League by eight points as their 100% record remains intact.
The decision by Klopp not to bring the 26-year-old to Anfield appears to have been justified and, perhaps, proves the German knows exactly what he wants and what is good for the club moving forward.
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