11 Apr 2014

Transfer Flop: How LFC dodged a bullet by failing to sign £12m 'Pistolero'. Relief...?

In the lead-up to the January transfer window, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers dispatched the club's Chief Scout to watch Olympiacos striker Kostas Mitroglou in action. The Reds passed on the Greek star, who ended up at Fulham in an £12m deal, and based on his performance so far, I'm sure Rodgers is breathing a huge sigh of relief.

In December, Greek newspaper Gazetta claimed that Brendan Rodgers planned to make a January bid for Mitroglou - and soon after, The Mirror reported:

"Rodgers has had [Mitroglou] watched on a number of occasions by head of recruitment Dave Fallows and chief scout Barry Hunter.

"Both were present to watch him net three times in Greece's World Cup play-off against Romania last month"

It's easy to see why Rodgers may have been interested. In the first half of the season, Mitroglou produced record-breaking form, grabbing 23 goals in 18 games for Olympiakos, including FOUR hat-tricks:

* First career hat-trick in a 5-0 away win against Levadiakos.

* Second hat-trick in a 4-0 home win against Skoda Xanthi, becoming the first player in Olympiacos' history (as well as the Greek League), to score two consecutive hat-tricks.

* Third hat-trick in a 3-0 away win against Anderlecht in the Champions League group stage, making Mitroglous the first Greek player to score a hat-trick in the Champions League.

* Another hat-trick four days later in a 6-0 home win against Veria, becoming the first player in Greek history to score four hat-tricks in one season.

Then, in December, Mitroglou - nicknamed 'Pistolero' by Olympiakos fans - scored two goals against Arsenal in the Champions League, prompting praise from Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, who enthused:

"Mitroglou scored two great goals. The first one in London was a great header and tonight was a fantastic goal as well, I must say. I won’t say more because if I do you’ll think I want to buy him,"

It's all gone wrong for Mitroglou at Fulham, though.

* In February - after a months at the club - Fulham boss Felix Magath admitted that Mitroglou is only 'fit enough to play half an hour' and is 'not fit enough to play 90 minutes.

* After nearly three months at the club, he's made only ONE start for the Cottagers, and is now injured for the most vital part of the season.

Magath, however, insists that the striker is not a flop. He told reporters this week:

"Even if it is the last game and he scores that is good enough for us if we stay up. I think you have to see the long term if you take a player like Mitroglou. You are not thinking only for four weeks, so for that reason he is not a mistake.”

In December, I argued that signing Mitroglou would be a major gamble, and it looks like Liverpool dodged a major bullet here.

Or is it simply the case that Mitroglou needs time to adapt to the Premier League?



  1. Looks like he will get plenty of time to adjust to the Championship.
    But this is just another example that shows that most media & internet speculation is just rubbish. There have been several players certain to sign for LFC but were wholly inaccurate. And no doubt there will be several more over the summer.

  2. I have made the point before of how media seem to know exactly which players the scouts/Rodgers are watching and whether any of our scouts/Rodgers have even been to watch the likes of Mitroglou.

  3. You need to broaden your horizons. Just because a transfer doesn't come off doesn't mean that LFC weren't interested. Clubs follow hundreds of players, throughout a season, and talks (both formal and informal) take place all the time between agents, managers. clubs etc. I know this as I've experienced it first hand. Deals are discussed all the time, and scouts become easily recognisable as a result of going to lots of games every week.

    Transfers are complicated to conclude, and the reality is the majority of proposed transfers fall through. That doesn't mean that reports about interest in X, Y and Z was wrong.

  4. I am baffled as to how the media gets to know who Liverpool is targeting or watching? Is there a mole or what?

  5. If we sent our chief scout we were obviously interested but that's all there was. That's what scouts are for at the end of the day. To go and...eum...scout players. So they came, they saw and they said naaah. Good scouting so.