7 Nov 2013

'Go to Liverpool' - African star explains why he refused LFC transfer. Warning for Ilori...?

Heerenveen defender Kenny Otigba has revealed that he rejected the chance to sign for Liverpool in 2012.

Speaking to Dutch sports magazine Voetbal International yesterday, the 21-year old central admitted that although it's his 'dream' to play in the Premier League, he was ultimately dissuaded from making the move to Anfield. He explained:

"My mom told me to go to Liverpool but my agent was more realistic. He said the Dutch school is better than the English"

Otigba clearly has a wise Agent. At the time of Liverpool's interest, the Nigeria-born defender was 19, and moving to Liverpool at that age would've been tantamount to career suicide (IMO).

Like so many other young players, he probably would've toiled away in the academy for a while, then gone out on loan to some League two team, and then disappeared into obscurity.

You just have to look at the experiences of Sebastian Coates and Tiago Ilori to see that coming to Anfield as a young central defender is not the best idea. Coates is almost certainly on his way out of Anfield, and probably would've been dumped by now if not for his injury.

Ilori is 'one for the future', claims Brendan Rodgers, but he is nowhere near the first team right now, and with the over-abundance of central defenders at the club, it's difficult to see how he'll get any pitch time this season.

I'm sure Ilori didn't expect to be starting regularly, but he hasn't even been used as a substitute, something that Rodgers could've easily facilitated.

As for Otigba - with 11 appearances so far this season, he is a regular for Heerenveen, which shows he made the right decision to stay in Holland. It also means he is being afforded the opportunity to *develop* his game, something that cannot be said for Ilori. The irony here is that if Liverpool had signed Otigba, it's highly probable that the club would not have pursued Ilori (!)

I sincerely believe that Liverpool should institute a one-year moratorium on buying young players. The club is stuffed to the gills with 'promising' talent, but severely lacking in quality, experienced players. Just develop the youngsters already at the club and spend the next two transfer windows bringing in top-quality, experienced players with a proven ability to make an instant impact.

That means no more mid-level gambles like Aspas, Alberto, Ilori et al.



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