There have been seasons in Liverpool’s history when it was difficult to compete at the highest level, despite the club’s trophy cabinet being stuffed to the brim.
The players who saw an opportunity to leave Merseyside in search of greater success did so.
However, while a few had fulfilled their desire for trophies, many had regrets about leaving Liverpool.
Since leaving Liverpool, a number of former Reds players have suffered professionally.
Our focus in this piece is on five ex-Liverpool players who may have regretted leaving the club:
1. Georginio Wijnaldum
This makes sense given the reported £300,000 weekly salary offered to sign Wijnaldum for Paris Saint-Germain.
After starting just half of PSG’s Ligue 1 and Champions League games in his first season, the 30-year-old found himself benched amid allegations that he was already ready to go on.
Because of the circumstances, “I cannot claim I am fully satisfied,” he stated in March.
“But that’s football, and I’ll have to get used to it. In my heart, I’m a warrior. To get things back on track, I need to have a positive attitude and put out the effort necessary. I’ve been playing a lot recently, and I’ve always been in good shape and performed well. It will take some time getting used to because this is something new. Just when I was looking forward to the next step, something went wrong. It’s a real challenge.”
2. Coutinho Philippe
In the summer of 2017, the Brazilian lobbied for a transfer and joined Barcelona six months later.
During his five years with Liverpool, he had overcome his previous injuries and established himself as one of the club’s most important players.
Even after scoring 54 goals and moving to the Nou Camp for £142 million, it’s possible that Messi has second thoughts about his decision.
While at Barcelona, Coutinho has had to put up with the boos of the home crowd almost his whole time there.
The 2019-20 season loan to Bayern Munich has done little to help him rediscover his best form, and a career that had so much promise will probably never reach the heights it should have.
3. Robbie Fowler
He was traded to Leeds in 2001, despite the admiration of the Anfield supporters.
Gerard Houllier and Michael Owen formed a formidable tandem up front, and Houllier’s relationship with Owen was strained.
Leeds signed “God,” as the Liverpool faithful dubbed him, as a regular first-team player.
However, Fowler could not match his previous achievements when he returned to Liverpool following stints at Leeds and Manchester City.
He retired in 2012 after playing for Perth Glory and Muangthong United in a few low-key roles.
The Champions League would have been a nice addition to his trophy cabinet had he stayed at Liverpool in 2001.
4. Peter Crouch
Crouch has been more forthright about his remorse over leaving Anfield this season.
The thing I’m most sorry for is that I left Liverpool too early. Because of the circumstances, I had no choice but to accept.”
Between 2005 and 2008, the England forward scored 24 goals in 93 games while at Anfield. Crouch rose to prominence after a shaky start, but he never cemented himself as the Reds’ go-to shooter.
Fernando Torres’ arrival in 2007 prompted the 6ft 7in striker to resent his omission from the Champions League final XI.
Although Crouch remained in the area for an additional year, he eventually made his way back to Portsmouth in 2008.
Crouch wishes he’d stayed the course a little longer, even if it made sense at the moment.
5. Michael Owen
Owen left Liverpool to join Real Madrid because he was enthralled by the idea of playing for a team with the prestige of Real Madrid.
After only a year in Madrid, the Chester-born footballer was back in the Premier League with Newcastle United of England.
After moving to Manchester United in 2009, Owen’s reputation among Liverpool fans was further harmed.
After leaving Liverpool, the ex-footballer-turned-pundit saw his goal total drop.
Just one season after he left, Owen was forced to witness his former teammates win the Champions League with their new squad.
As a result of his time in Spain with Real Madrid, Owen has come to regret his decision to leave Liverpool