Manchester United’s star playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan could so easily have been playing for us instead of our rivals tomorrow at Anfield.
In 2013, Brendan Rodgers beelined for the Armenian, then at Shakhtar Donetsk, but he chose Borussia Dortmund, then managed by Jurgen Klopp, instead.
Following an absurdly good season in the Bundesliga in 2015/16, United snapped him up for big money last summer and after a slow start, he’s become an integral part of the starting XI.
Mkhitaryan has opened up on why he rejected Liverpool and signed for Klopp, while thanking the German for helping his career, too.
“I had chosen Dortmund because I liked the way they play there,” Mkhitaryan told German magazine 11 Freunde, translated by the Mirror.
“The players also liked me – and then there was the great coach, Jurgen Klopp.
“After I had talked to him, the decision had been made for me. I only wanted to go to Borussia Dortmund.
“When I came to Dortmund, Klopp told me that I had to let go, and that it’s not good to think about football all the time.
“I started to understand what he meant, and so slowly, this part of me has changed.
“I am thankful to Klopp. He worked on my personality and the psychological part.
“Klopp showed me the way. He supported me and told me I had to keep my head up because good things were coming.
“He helped me to become a better player.”
The 28-year-old will definitely be one of United’s attackers we have to watch tomorrow. He’ll likely play in a three-pronged attack with Romelu Lukaku central and one of Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford on the left.
Our defence has been woeful this term, but bar the Manchester City game, in which we conceded five, this will be their toughest test on paper.
It’s about time they started paying back some of their manager’s faith, after Klopp refused to buy replacements in the summer.