Dele Alli: Liverpool could have signed him - but Steven Gerrard was asleep

MK Dons v Yeovil Town: Sky Bet League One

Dele Alli could have signed for Liverpool but Steven Gerrard having a nap may have scuppered the deal.

Alli was impressing at League One MK Dons and was capturing the attention of numerous high-profile clubs.

One of those clubs was Liverpool – the club Alli supported as a boy.

Gerrard was sleeping when Alli went to Liverpool

In 2014, Alli travelled to Merseyside and Liverpool’s training ground ahead of a potential move.

However, he was unable to meet his idol as he was sleeping at the time.

“At the time when I was at MK there was contact with Liverpool before I signed for Tottenham, but that was before we’d even spoke to Tottenham,” Alli told Football Focus. “I think it was six months before.

“We went up there and I think they knew that Steven Gerrard was my hero, so they said he was going to come down to meet me, but when I got there he was asleep apparently.

“I think he had a game the next day though so I understand.”

It’s unknown whether Gerrard sleeping was a deal-breaker but it certainly wouldn’t have done Liverpool’s chances of signing Alli any harm whatsoever.

As we all know, Alli signed for Spurs for £5 million instead and initially flourished.

Dele Alli Receives the Premier League Player of the Month Award

Rodgers on how close Liverpool were to signing Alli

Two years later, former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers expained just how close the Reds were to signing the midfielder.

 “We thought we had him at Liverpool,” Rodgers told Goals on Sunday.

“The manager of MK Dons actually drove him down to us. They played a game on the Saturday and we were playing West Ham on the Sunday.

“We’d had contact with Dele, it was all above board, I was speaking with Karl Robinson and I spoke to Dele and his adoptive parents.

“Karl did really well with him and he came to me and said, ‘I’ve got a really exciting player, I’d love to see him at Liverpool’.

“I spent a couple of hours in a hotel room with him and he wanted to come to Liverpool. It was all about getting the deal done with the club but unfortunately it never got done.

“On Saturday evening we thought it had got done but eventually he went to Tottenham, which was frustrating and disappointing. He’s done really well there.”

Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli

What’s happened to Dele Alli?

After signing for Spurs as an 18-year-old, Alli looked set to fulfil his incredible talent. In his first two seasons, he scored 28 Premier League goals in 70 appearances. He won the PFA Young Player of the Year in those two seasons – and was named in the PFA Team of Year on both occasions.

He appeared to have the world at his feet.

Liverpool – and every other club – will have been regretting the fact they were unable to sign the wonderkid for such a modest fee.

However, things slowly started to unravel for Alli and he’s only managed 14 league goals in the last four campaigns.

He hasn’t represented England since 2019 and was allowed to leave Spurs for Everton on a free transfer in January 2022. However, after just seven months at Goodison Park, it seems Frank Lampard has given up on the 26-year-old.

Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Everton

He’s now heavily linked with a move to Turkish side, Besiktas – a move that sums up the difficult few years Alli has had in football.

Would his career have turned out differently if he had signed for Liverpool and played alongside his hero, Gerrard? It’s a question we’ll never have an answer for.

But at the age of 26, there is still time for Alli to turn his career around. But, right now, it’s looking as though his incredible potential may never quite be fulfilled.

1 of 20
Norwich City v Liverpool - Premier League

Liverpool started their Premier League season with a 3-0 win over who?

News Now - Sport News