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“My biggest regret”: Former Leeds star opens up on failed Liverpool move

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By Pranav Ravindrannair

Lee Bowyer opens up on his failed transfer to Liverpool

Lee Bowyer was one of Leeds United’s best midfielders in the early 2000s. Having come through the ranks at Charlton Athletic, the Englishman made a lasting impression at Elland Road.

He could have been strutting his stuff at Anfield if he had not had a change of heart. According to the Liverpool Echo, Bowyer was midway through a medical at Liverpool before he changed his mind and pulled the plug on the transfer.

According to the report, this incident occurred in 2002, just a season after the midfielder played a starring role in Leeds United’s run to the Champions League semifinals.

Lee Bowyer transfer to Liverpool
Lee Bowyer could have been playing alongside Gary McAllister than against him

Bowyer was a favourite of then Reds boss Gerard Houllier. Anfield legend Jamie Carragher revealed that the Frenchman was in the habit of talking up the player before matches between the two teams.

Liverpool and Leeds were fierce rivals for the Champions League spots back then. A move for Bowyer would have been a direct blow to our rivals while at the same time strengthening our hand.

Same story-different versions

It was believed that Liverpool were the ones to pull out of the deal. It was due to Houllier’s belief that the player lacked the hunger or desire to be a Red. That has now been rebuffed by the player who states that it was he who decided to back away.

Bowyer had since had time to reflect upon his decision and believes that he erred in his judgment.

“It didn’t feel right at the time, it was my biggest regret in football, if I could go back, I would.”

Bowyer moved to Newcastle United
Bowyer regrets his move to Newcastle United

He admitted to making the wrong decision to go to Newcastle instead of Liverpool. The Englishman was a talented player who could have added a lot to the Reds midfield.

His lone trophy came at Birmingham City where he won the Football League Cup in 2011. It is very much possible that he would have enjoyed success in the 2003 League Cup and the 2005 Champions League had he moved to Liverpool.

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Football is full of tough decisions that may or may not work out for the best. Bowyer’s decision may have seemed right at the moment but it ensured that the player missed out on success while the Reds missed out on a gifted player. Hindsight truly is a wonderful gift to have.