Sunderland striker Ola Toivonen has revealed he almost joined Liverpool several years ago - and the Sweden international regrets that the move failed to materialise.
Toivonen is currently on loan at the Stadium of Light, from parent club Rennes, but in an interview with the Durham Times he admitted he could have been one of Roy Hodgson’s signings at Anfield during the 2010-11 campaign.
“I have had opportunities to come to the Premier League before,” the Swede admitted. “A couple of years ago it looked like I would be joining Liverpool when Roy Hodgson was there. Not fighting hard enough for that to happen is something I regret in my life.”
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Liverpool fans, though, will not be overly disappointed that the transfer didn’t happen.
Toivonen is far from being a top-class centre-forward, and had Liverpool signed him they may not have forked out £22.7 million for Luis Suarez weeks later.
Toivonen would have been a disaster at Liverpool
Toivonen was scoring goals on a reasonably consistent basis for PSV Eindhoven around the time of Liverpool’s interest, but weeks after Hodgson was dismissed in January 2011, the prolific Suarez signed a five-and-a-half year deal with the Reds.
The Uruguay international would go on to score 82 goals in 133 appearances for the Merseyside outfit before joining Barcelona for a reported £75 million fee in the summer of 2014.
Toivonen, meanwhile, scored 14 goals in 46 Ligue 1 appearances for Rennes before being loaned to Sunderland this summer.
It’s hard to imagine that Toivonen would have been a success at Anfield during Hodgson’s ill-fated reign at Anfield, so it was probably best for all concerned that the move didn’t happen in the end.
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