Under Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool have created a formidable squad that has plundered illustrious success for several years now, with the astute work plied in the transfer market providing the German manager with apt tools to craft a dynasty.
The fruits of his labour have eclipsed anything the Reds could have dreamed of, with the whole gamut of silverware secured since his appointment in 2015 – barring the Europa League, which Liverpool will certainly be eyeing up this term.
While the likes of Mohamed Salah, Andrew Robertson, Gini Wijnaldum and Sadio Mane are just a few of the astute dealings to have turbo-charged an ascent to the forefront of the European game, the club’s academy – which is by no means the most prolific in England – has also played its part.
Indeed, Trent Alexander-Arnold is one of the most devastating creative gems in the game and has been instrumental in the illustrious feats, having risen through the academy and now admirably standing as the club’s vice-captain.
Curtis Jones has also been a burgeoning figure of late and just recently completed his 100th appearance for the club, having posted 11 goals and assists apiece.
The Anfield side have not really seen too many starring talents slip away, but, unknown to most, a certain Premier League star named Anthony Gordon once plied his formative years on the red half of Merseyside.
Did Anthony Gordon play for Liverpool?
Former Liverpool academy player Gordon has risen to prominence on the Premier League scene over the past several years, impressing for a struggling Everton side and forging 78 displays – scoring seven goals and supplying eight assists – before moving away earlier this year.
It all could have been so different; having been released from the Reds’ youth ranks when he was only 11-years-old, Gordon was offered a place at Everton’s Finch Farm academy and nurtured his precocious talents as a newfound blue.
Speaking to Everton’s club website, Gordon revealed his thoughts on the heartbreak of receiving the chop at Liverpool, saying: “It was another chance for me to grow. But that was hard. It affected me mentally and dented my confidence. I had to pick myself up and go again.
“When I got to Everton, I never looked back.”
The 22-year-old is an electric player with scorching pace, and while his cutting edge still needs refining, he definitely boasts the attributes requisite for success at an ambitious outfit such as Liverpool, which is probably why high-flying Newcastle United decided to swoop for his signature.
How much is Anthony Gordon worth now?
With Everton toiling, Gordon decided that the allure of joining a fast-rising team such as Newcastle was an opportunity too enticing to turn down, and he forced his way out of his long-time club in January 2023, completing a £45m transfer to Tyneside.
The England U21 international – who has scored six goals from 16 appearances and won the Player of the Tournament at the 2023 U21 Euros this summer as England gleaned gold – has been praised for his “fearless attitude” by Premier League icon Alan Shearer.
And given that he now boasts a delightful blend of energy and athleticism, he’s found a regular spot in the Magpies’ starting XI this season, beginning all five fixtures in the English top-flight and scoring against, of course, Liverpool.
Why is Anthony Gordon worth that much?
While Gordon flattered to deceive for much of the 2022/23 campaign after making the move to Tyneside, taking until the final game of the season against Chelsea to break his duck, the wily winger’s talents were evident, even if the confidence wasn’t quite there at first.
The fleet-footed phenom was even branded “shambolic” by reporter Ryan Taylor for his substandard impact in the early days of his career with Newcastle, but his qualities were always there and now finding his feet, Gordon looks set to nurture his skills and continue to play an important role for Howe’s side.
Now with a pre-season and starring role for the Young Lions behind him, the £60k-per-week star looks set for a role of significance for a Newcastle side that will play Champions League football this season, something that Klopp’s Liverpool will have to do without after falling by the wayside last year.
As per FBref, he ranks among the top 2% of attacking midfielders and wingers across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year for tackles and the top 11% for blocks per 90 – illustrating his tenacity and application across the pitch, evident after dispossessing a languid Alexander-Arnold and dribbling into the box to score at St. James’ Park earlier this season. Indeed, during that game, he rather had “Trent on toast“, as per Statman Dave.
Having also demonstrated his creativity with a “brilliant ball in” – as was said by CBS Sports’ Ben Jacobs, who was remarking over his assist for debutant Sandro Tonali as Newcastle wreaked havoc against Aston Villa in August, there is an all-encompassing skill set still yet to reach its peak.
Liverpool do boast the likes of Luis Diaz, Cody Gakpo, Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez as forwards capable of playing in Gordon’s preferred left channel, but surrounded by a vibrant crop of talent at Anfield, there is no reason why the Liverpudlian’s development might not have blossomed under Klopp’s wing, amid so much world-class talent.
While Liverpool’s attack is indeed burgeoning rapidly and looks as formidable as any across European football, Gordon’s pace and directness would have been perfect as a youngster rising to the fore at Anfield.
While most of a Reds affiliation despise the former Everton star, it all could have been so different, and even if Klopp and co decided his future would have been best served away from Merseyside, to think they could have cashed in lucratively is a blow for a club that has done its transfer work so diligently over modern years.