Scoring two goals last week against Caen, Maxime Lopez is quickly becoming one of the key components of Rudi Garcia’s first-team at Marseille.

The 19-year-old, while still developing, is starting more and more games, with 33 appearances to his name this season, scoring three goals and assisting six times along the way.

Marseille born and bred, the young midfielder’s career so far could have been far different had he accepted Liverpool’s advances three years ago when the Premier League side made him an offer to join their youth team.

Aware it might be a bit too early to go abroad, the youngster politely refused their approach and focused on making a name for himself at his home club, which he has now done.

However, there was another reason why he said no to Liverpool and the possibility to play at Anfield one day.

Speaking to RMC Sport, he said: “For me, Marseille is my family. I’ve been here for seven years. If I didn’t leave for Liverpool three years ago, it’s because I’m very happy here, I’m at home, I know everyone at this club.”

One bit of good news for the Reds, however, is that were they to renew their interest in the young midfielder, they, at least, now know they won’t be facing competition from France.

Why? “It’s impossible for me to play in another French club. If I have to leave, it’ll be abroad, not in France. I’m really attached to Marseille. I can’t see myself anywhere else in France but here.”