18 Oct 2011

PAUL GASCOIGNE: "Kenny Dalglish wanted to sign me for Liverpool, but I couldn't wait around..."

England legend Paul Gascoigne has revealed that Kenny Dalglish tried to sign him for Liverpool during the 1988 season.

Gascoigne, who went on to sign for Spurs instead, remembered:

"Kenny was the first one to come in for me. He said ‘I want to sign you'...Ian Rush was playing at Juventus at the time. Newcastle wanted 2.2m, and I couldn’t believe that because I’d come up through the ranks from nothing.

"Liverpool could only afford 2m because Ian Rush was coming back from Juventus. So he said, 'will you wait a year'? To be fair, they [Newcastle] got rid of Chris Waddle, they got rid of Peter Beardsley, and I was only on 25 quid a week, but the money never bothered me. I couldn’t wait around".

Gascoigne missed out on playing in one of Liverpool's most skilful, and entertaining teams, something he's acutely aware of:

"People talk about Man united and Spurs but Liverpool were the team. Liverpool at that time played football the way Barcelona play football now".

Gascoigne at Liverpool at the same time as John Barnes, Peter Beardsley, Ian Rush, John Aldridge, Jan Molby, Ronnie Whelan, Steve McMahon and Ray Houghton? There are lots of line-up permutations, but we could've been looking at a team like this:

We could've been looking at team like this:

------------------ Grobbelaar

Nicol ------- Hansen --- Gillespie ---- Staunton

Houghton ----- McMahon --- Gazza ----- Barnes

----------------- Beardsley

------------------- Rush/Aldo

Along with Michael Laudrup, Gazza has to be one of Liverpool's greatest missed opportunities.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Present Barcelona is nothing in front of that team...What a team that was!!!

  2. I was gutted at the time that Gazza never signed and had done my own team line up.

  3.  Liverpool's missed opportunity's ?

    We won the League in 88 , The cup in 89 & the league in 1990 , all while playing a brand of football that was so good to watch it arguably has never been equalled in England to this day , so what exactly did we miss again ?

    Laudrup would have had to compete with either Barnes or Beardsley for a starting place & to this day the Performance levels of Barnes & Beardsley during that period are among the highest I have ever seen from any professional in any sport anywhere on the planet .

    Simply put , he wouldn't have got into that team as a regular starter .

    As for Gaza in 88 ?

    He was very hit & miss at that time , he had his flashes of momentary brilliance during a season but games passed him by more often than not , he was still only around 20 yr old as I recall .

    Theres no way we woulda dropped Ronnie Whelan for him or split the magnificent partnership of Whelan & McMahon , which to this day I havent seen bettered in England , for anyone in Europe .

    You could have made an argument that Matheaus , Scifo or Rijkaard in 88 may have been good enough but you  wouldn't be taking into account  the footballing culture back then when it was only really Italy that used foreign players in its league .

    Fact is the 3 best midfielders in England back then were Whelan , McMahon & Bryan Robson & only Neil Webb at Forest was showing any signs of having enough potential class to fit in with our extremely high standards back then .

    Gaza wouldn't have been a regular starter , even Molby was ahead of him & Molby as good as he could be wasn't good enough to split McMahon & Whelan , my guess is that Gaza knew as much , took the soft option & headed for Spurs & London's Bright Lights .

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing & you all have to take into account Gaza in 88 wasn't the Gaza of 96 or even 90 , his performance levels for Spurs weren't much more spectacular than Hendersons have been for us so far in his first season & although he had brilliant moments during those seasons his consistency or self discipline was never near good enough to hold down a place in a LFC Title winning side .

    I don't think we missed out on much back then & considering what we already had & what those players done & in the style they done it in ?

    We definitely didn't miss out on those two players .

  4. I remember that team taking a very heavy beating from Milans European Cup winning team in pre season so dont be getting carried away .

    Yes we were one of the Greatest League winning sides ever in England but a lack of European competition means it never fulfilled its potential , its a shame but its a fact .

    If it had regular European competition to sharpen it ?... I think we woulda beat current day Barcelona 3 out of 5 finals , but Barca are no soft touch , they are a good outfit presently .

  5. Didn't miss out on Laudrup? One of the best players ever to grace a football pitch  - it's almost like saying you don't need a player like Messi, Zidane or Pele in your team ...

  6. Didnt you read what I wrote ?

    Or dont you know who Peter Beardsley & John Barnes are & the magical way they performed together from 87 to 91 ?

    Maradona was the best player in the world back in 88 & even he couldnt have out performed Barnes in his 1'st two seasons for us .

    As for signing big name players like Zidane Messi or Pele from abroad & trying to integrate them into an English League winning team ?

    Obviously they arent needed if the team is winning leagues without them but quality additions are always welcome , unless of course those additions upset tha balance within the squad .

  7. Liverpool have only once played Milan in a pre-season game in 2002 which they won 2-1.