2/01/2013 06:05:00 pm

'LFC wanted him' - Coach reveals Reds tried to sign Aaron Lennon

Over the last twenty years, quality wide players have been few and far between at Anfield, and it's fair to say that the club has never adequately replaced John Barnes and Steve McManaman, two bona-fide creative geniuses. The emergence of Raheem Sterling provides hope for the future, but things could've been very different in the past if the club had managed to attract Tottenham Hotspur star Aaron Lennon.

In an interview with the Evening Standard last week, former Leeds United youth coach Greg Abbot - now manager of League One side Carlisle United - confirmed that Rafa Benitez tried to sign the speedy winger in 2005. He remembered:

“Planting him [Lennon] in London was probably done a year too early. Manchester United and Liverpool wanted him and they are much closer to his family in Leeds"

Benitez tried to sign Lennon again in 2008, and offered Spurs Jermain Pennant plus £7m, but, rather unsurprisingly, the London club didn't bite (!)

Frank Arnesen - former Spurs Director of Football - brought Lennon to Spurs, and he still believes that the 25-year old is 'up there with the best. He enthused:

“We paid about £500,000 for Aaron and to sign him for that amount was a no-brainer. In January 2006, Arsenal did a £12m deal for Theo Walcott but we’d taken Aaron for much less. I was involved in deals for Ronaldo, Arjen Robben, Jaap Stam and Ruud van Nistelrooy at PSV Eindhoven but Aaron is up there with the best, when you look at the fee and what he has produced.”

Lennon was again linked with a move to Anfield during Kenny Dalglish's reign, but the club somehow ended up with Stewart Downing instead.

In an interview in early January, Spurs team-mate Scott Parker hailed Lennon's contribution to the team, insisting that, this season, 'he is playing the best he's ever played'. He told The Mirror:

“Over the last four or five weeks he has been unplayable really. He was at a different level, not just his raw pace and his threat on and around the ball but his work rate was something very special. I couldn’t think of anything worse if I was a full-back than him running at me. I am sure every full-back out there has the same feeling really"

Just imagine how different things could've been with Lennon in Downing's place over the last 18 months...

Jaimie Kanwar

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36 Comments :

Gaza said...

Never mind copites he is all ours and we just love the guy.Anyway your on the way back and expect to see Liverpool competing very soon at the top.Missed you chaps its been so boring with Man U always there and the others i just cant bring myself to say but you know who i mean 

anteater said...

He blows a bit hot and cold, doesn't he. Surely would have been a massive upgrade on Jermaine "I don't tie my boots for training" Peanut. Or Albert Rieira. Or Ryan Babel. Need I go on. Spurs have paid 500k for him. Now, that's a shrewd piece of business.

liverpool4life565 said...

Are you serious? I know alot of spurs fans who are sick if him, he runs like a headless chicken, you can tell what he going to do before he even done it, and I'm sure downing has better goal and assist ratios this year.....

L4red said...

Just spit it out mate, lol, that plastic flag waving load of rent boys

reality said...

I know a hell of a lot of Spurs fans that rate him highly. "Before he even done it? What's that mean in English as I don't speak gibberish? Might I suggest that as a change from sour grapes you might try sucking bitter lemons. 

Ryanmllyd said...

a verry good atribute to spurs playing verry well

Tinker's Cuss said...

anteater, Reira wasn't that bad - I would prefer him to Downing for sure.

Robcalduk said...

I'm a spurs fan and I think he's one of the most overrated players in the league.

liverpool4life565 said...

Meaning he can't cross, he goes in then out it's just obvious he going to do that..... And why would I have sour grapes? I don't rate him and wouldn't want him in my team.... And you don't know what "before he even done it" meaning he next move.

Jay said...

Being a great value signing and a great player are two totally different things.

Jay said...

Lennon gets past players as easily as anybody, but tbh I'm happy that Tottenham continue to persist with him on the wing, as he is so one dimensional and offers so little end product. 

Hopefully Sterling doesn't follow down the same career path of being a player that so flatters to deceive...

Jay said...

And they paid £18m for David Bentley. I honestly don't think that Lennon would've been a massive upgrade over Riera or Babel anyway.

The constant fawning over Spurs is getting a bit irritating tbh - everybody acts like they're massively overachieving by competing for CL places now, when imho they were just massively underachieving by failing to compete for CL places beforehand

Chris Wiggan said...

Downing - 1 goal, 2 assists. Lennon 3 goals, 6 assists. Downing £11m? Lennon 500k. Don't mean to be inflammatory but no doubt you'll take it that way. Downing has improved on last season's showing but he couldn't be worse.

H. said...

Downing cost closer to £20m and is toilet. Name a winger in this country that isn't inconsistent. On his day Lennon is a threat to any team and for £1m he was the signing of the decade.

islesfan74 said...

To follow up on Jaimie's comment in the original post, has anyone ever heard why we were willing to shell out the money for Downing instead of Lennon?

I recall hearing the rumors at the time about Lennon, and it sort of just faded away.

Was the inquiry that serious, or was it just a shot in the dark?

OriginalChan said...

He hasn't got many weapons in his arsenal ( ;) ) but what he does have, he uses it very well, which is pace, counter attacking & taking on of players on the wing. He isn't top quality, not even near but he is quite a good player. Though with our current system, I'm not sure he would be that good a fit as he is basically speed merchant (a good one) that likes to stay wide. At Spurs, at least over the years he has been there, they have always had a strong element of wing play which suits him and Bale. For the price they got him for, he has been very good. He can be somewhat inconsistent and be easily overshadowed by the lopsided balance of the side to the left wing due to a certain Welsh international but he is a good winger, albeit somewhat limited one. Great value and a good player. Probably better than any winger we have had since..erm...Macca (though that goes to show the mediocrity that has been our wingers)(early days on Sterling, very bloody early).Thought he was brilliant for them consistenly in the CL a while back.

Big Mal said...

Don't believe what you read about Bentley's fee - it was nowhere near that much.

Big Mal said...

He does know what it means he is just pointing out that it is not proper English. I love the fact that other fans don't rate Lennon because it makes it even sweeter when he scores last minute winners against teams like Liverpool. Our best player this year by a mile.

Big Mal said...

8th most assists in the league this season. Such a lazy comment from someone who clearly hasn't watched him lately. Our best player, just hoping opponents underestimate him like fans do.

liverpool4life565 said...

No I think bale is. He pure class.....

Jay said...

Everybody sticks to the highest quoted fee when discussing Liverpool transfers. Figured I might as well embrace the same practice when referencing another club's signing.

Jay said...

I don't watch every Spurs game, but when I have, I haven't seen anything different from Lennon to in previous years - someone that threatens a lot, but delivers pretty little.

He's a good player, but the article is comparing him to 'great' players. And Lennon is simply not on that level.

plymred said...

id take downing over lennon every time , and yes liverpool are coming up the hill , im looking forward to seeing the brazilian lad , countinho , last season and this season is the best spurs have ever had since the 60's 

H8UTD said...

lennon=top class. but that's enough about the musical or ginger genius, the little spurs winger is a player i wanted us to sign, before he went dahn sarf. shame, he is exactly the type of player we still need.........any chance he could play in defence!?

nick1811 said...

he's one of the reasons why i love watching spurs play. they are very fast and silky, and he contributes to that

Yidomark17 said...

idiot

JBlack said...

As a Liverpool supporter I've always liked Lennon. Always willing to take on a full back and over the past 2/3 seasons he has markedly improved his work rate, final ball abd finishing. Downing is technically a better player but I would say he doesn't quite have the mental strength of Lennon. It doesn't help that Downing plays on the right as an inverted winger as he is a traditional "get a yard and cross" winger and not an attacking midfielder.

Rickyvilla1979 said...

Lennon is pure class lightning quick , hard working, skillful , good end product inspite of the sheep who just regergetate what they hear on sky that goes for pundits also, could just work on his goal scoring to be the complete player. Easley the most underrated player in the prem.

OriginalChan said...

I would have thought 2009/10, out of the recent seasons, would have trumped last season, non...
Higher points total, won more games, scored more goals and actually qualified for CL, instead of being gazumped by CL winners Chelsea last season despite coming 4th.

HazeyMatt said...

I agree, Very good value player, PL quality? yes, Amazing player? no.
He's a very handy player to have but he has never really blown me away.

Dave said...

As a season ticket holder I can easily say Lennon has been one of if not our best player this season, I can't believe some of the rubbish people write on here about him being no good!! Clearly you do not actually go to games to see the work he puts in, ps: he is 10 times the player downing is!!

H8UTD said...

what utter rubbish!! how dare you say he is '10 times the player downing is'???? lennon is far better than that.

H8UTD said...

unfortunately for downing, it also doesn't help, that he is stuart downing.

plymred said...

yes you're right chan , getting 4th 3rd 2nd is classed  as success as it gives you CL footy , 

M. said...

Both Downing & Lennon are over hyped & over rated; had they not been English, wouldn't have played in BPL, or at best played for relegation battlers.  England is seriously short of creative players & only hence players like Downing & Lennon had won almost 50 cap between them.

Having said that, Lennon is a better option, because we have wasted 20mn for Downing & no way Lennon 'll cost more than half of that.  However, for logical money (less than 5mn transfer fee & maximum around 60k/week salary) I 'll go for Downing.  Lennon is a headless sprinter, but Downing at least is a slow but accurate winger & an utility left back (when the Manager can't off load him for his package).   

anteater said...

Agree about the underachieving of Tottenham.

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