The former agent of Harry Kewell, Bernie Mandic, has claimed the Aussie joined Liverpool back in 2003, despite the offer of bigger money from elsewhere – such as Chelsea, Arsenal and Barcelona.
The winger was sensational at Leeds, and at the time, all Reds thought we’d secured a potentially world-class player – considering Kewell was only 24-years-old when we acquired him.
Sadly, injuries meant he was never able to fulfil his potential, despite being part of the starting XI in the Champions League Final victory in 2005, although he did limp off early.
As a result, Kewell isn’t remembered with too much fondness in terms of what he offered as a player, but it was a real coup by Gerard Houllier to secure him originally.
“Your client’s best interests have to come first,” Mandic told the The Transfer Window podcast.
“And for all the supposed bad stuff I did with Harry Kewell, at the end of the day he had better offers from other clubs and he was the one who chose Liverpool rather than going to Chelsea, for example, or at that time Arsenal or Barcelona.
“Because one, he loved the club, secondly, he felt that he had the best connection with Gerard Houlier compared with anyone else.
“Houlier put his best case forward personally whereas other clubs had sporting directors doing it and that made a substantial difference to his thinking.”
The likes of Djimi Traore and Milan Baros were also in the starting XI v AC Milan in Istanbul, which simply heightens the enormity of the achievement on that famous night.
Two years later, we had a much better, more rounded side – but lost to the Italians – despite arguably enjoying the better of the game.