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Gerrard.

When a Liverpool transfer target didn't know who Steven Gerrard was

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Steven Gerrard is Mr. Liverpool.

The midfielder is a club legend after making 710 appearances for the club over the course of 17 seasons. He earned that legendary status by the way in which he bailed his side out on countless occasions and won matches by himself.

While he never got the chance to lift the Premier League trophy, he led the Reds to nine trophies during his time at Anfield - including the 2005 Champions League in extraordinary circumstances.

And if evidence was needed, Gerrard came out on top in Liverpool’s ‘100 players who shook the Kop’ in 2013 - a survey where fans voted for the best players to have worn the famous red shirt. Gerrard beat the likes of Kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush and Robbie Fowler to the crown.

What we’re trying to say, is that Gerrard is one of the greatest players to have played for Liverpool and everyone knows who he is.

Well, that’s except one Liverpool transfer target.

A story has emerged from the New York Times of Liverpool’s chief scout, Barry Hunter, going to speak to a young player in the hope to persuade him to sign for the club.

And when Gerrard’s name was dropped into the conversation, the target replied with: “Who is Gerrard?”

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No, seriously.

While that might seem unbelievable, it’s slightly more understandable when you consider the player was a young North Korean player, who was just 17 at the time.

It was Han Kwang-song, who was playing in Italy’s Corciano academy and was attracting interest from Liverpool, Manchester City and Fiorentina amongst others.

The very awkward meeting

And NYT have told the story of what exactly happened.

“In early 2015, three members of the Liverpool scouting department visited the offices of I.S.M. Academy, a small soccer training school in Corciano, just west of here, to speak with a promising teenage striker.

“At some point during the visitors’ pitch, Barry Hunter, Liverpool’s chief scout, casually name-dropped Steven Gerrard, the longtime Liverpool captain, perhaps as a way to impress the young player. The reference was met with a confused stare.

“‘Who is Gerrard?’” the teenage striker said.

"Now it was Hunter who seemed confused. As the other men in the room fidgeted in their seats, Hunter reached for his computer and pulled up images of Gerrard, one of the most famous players of his era, and attempted to explain who he was.”

UEFA Champions League Final - AC Milan v Liverpool

Oh dear.

Funnily enough, Liverpool didn’t end up signing Han.

Instead, the now 19-year-old signed his first professional contract with Cagliari in Serie A at the start of this season and is now on-loan to second-division club Perugia - where he has already notched six goals.

We wonder if, two years on, he knows who Steven Gerard is yet…

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Topics:
Liverpool
Steven Gerrard
Premier League
Football

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