Liverpool could have signed a superstar instead of Peter Crouch and Jermaine Pennant

  • Rob Swan

Peter Crouch and Jermaine Pennant signed for Liverpool at a time when the Reds were a genuinely excellent team under Rafael Benitez.

Crouch arrived from Southampton in the summer of 2005, shortly after the Merseyside outfit had won the Champions League, for a fee of £7 million.

Pennant, meanwhile, arrived a year later in a £6.7 million move from Birmingham City.

Despite a slow start to his Anfield career, Crouch turned out to be a pretty useful signing.

The England striker scored 42 goals in 134 appearances for Liverpool, including a hat-trick against Arsenal.

Pennant was less impressive, spending two seasons at Anfield before leaving for Portsmouth (on loan) during the 2008-09 campaign. He then left Liverpool permanently in July 2009, completing a surprise permanent switch to Real Zaragoza.

The superstar Liverpool could have signed instead

Liverpool’s former chief executive Rick Parry has now sensationally revealed that the Reds signed Crouch and Pennant instead of a player who is now widely regarded as one of the best full-backs certainly of his generation and possibly of all time.

“We had the deal — finally, after enormous complications — tied up for Dani Alves and then the decision was should we buy two players or should we spend all of that on a full-back?” Parry told BBC Radio Merseyside, per the Daily Mail.

“Alves was not the player then that he is now, but he always looked like he would be a great player.

“Would he have been a better signing than [Jermaine] Pennant and [Peter] Crouch, for example? Probably yes, but it’s easy with hindsight.”

Parry added: “Looking back, if I could do anything different, it would be to focus on buying one [player] at a time rather than having to buy five or six every season.”

Alves has won everything since leaving Sevilla

Alves was with Sevilla at the time and would end up signing for Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona in the summer of 2008.

The Brazilian right-back spent eight hugely successful years at the Camp Nou before leaving for Juventus last summer.

To further enhance his status as a true champion, Alves won both the Serie A and Coppa Italia titles in his first season with the Old Lady. He also helped Juve reach the Champions League final.

Now 34, Alves is expected to finally join a Premier League club this summer.

Manchester City are understood to have won the battle for his signature despite interest from Chelsea.

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