Liverpool has been host to some of the world’s best talent in recent years, with Mohamed Salah headlining their sensational attacking line.
Speaking to The Athletic, a member of Liverpool’s scouting setup at the time claimed that they had the opportunity to sign the Welsh legend at the time but snubbed the move after he had caught the eye during a scouting mission for David McGoldrick.
He claimed: “The left-back was outstanding that day. We went back and said, ‘McGoldrick isn’t for us but there’s this 16-year-old kid called Gareth Bale we should sign.’
“No one was really talking about Bale back then. Southampton weren’t convinced themselves and he had only just earned himself a scholarship there.”
The club proposed a swap deal for the defender, with Darren Potter going the other way, but it was a move that unfortunately fell through.
In his final season at White Hart Lane, he scored 21 goals and assisted a further nine in just 33 appearances, announcing himself as the league’s PFA player of the season; his second time winning the award.
Three La Liga titles and five Champions Leagues later, in which he starred in many of them, Bale had cemented himself as one of the most decorated British players of all time.
He actually bagged a brace against the Reds in the 2017/18 Champions League final too.
During the period where Bale was on fire for Spurs and winning numerous titles for Los Blancos, from around 2007 to 2018, Liverpool only managed to win one League Cup.
Things could have been so different had they listened to the anonymous scout who was certain he would have been a success, and despite Salah’s Anfield heroics, he would likely have not been needed.
He has been heralded as a goal-scoring winger, but offers little in the way of grace and beauty. Despite his 356 goal contributions only slightly outweighing Bale’s 324, it is certain that the latter would have provided more in the way of star power and ability to drag his side through tough games.
This particularly applies to their barren trophy run and the time scale around their hypothetical transfers.
Bale has had a phenomenal career and was a generational talent, which makes the decision to snub his signing even more baffling. It is a decision they will likely regret for many years to come.