German forward Max Kruse claims Divock Origi’s heroics in Liverpool’s Champions League success in 2019 stopped the Merseyside club from signing him.
The Belgium international was instrumental in helping the Reds overcome a 3-0 first leg deficit and stage a comeback in the semi-final second leg against Barcelona. Origi even scored in the final against Tottenham Hotspur.
Kruse impressed for Werder Bremen during the 2018/19 season, scoring 11 goals and registering seven assists, and was available on a free transfer in the summer of 2019.
The 32-year-old appeared as a guest for Spieltagssiegerbesieger – Der Kickbase Podcast, where he suggested he would have ended up Anfield two years ago, if not for Origi’s three goals in the two Champions League matches.
“Of course, I would have done that. In my opinion, it was relatively fixed. [Liverpool] actually wanted to give up two strikers,” Kruse said, as quoted by Sport1.
“Then one of the strikers scored goals in the Champions League semi-final and final. Then it was over. At that moment it was disappointing.”
Although the Belgian was vital in helping Klopp win his first silverware at Anfield, Origi continues to be a bit-part player for Liverpool.
Kruse moved to Fenerbahçe in 2019, but returned to his country to join Union Berlin last summer. Despite the disappointment of a failed moved to Liverpool, he still maintains contact with Klopp.
“Talking to Jürgen Klopp was awesome. We spoke on the phone once or twice. Everything is great with him. I’m not angry with Jürgen. Every now and then I send him a photo from vacation,” he explained.
Apart from the Premier League winners, Bayern Munich also considered signing Kruse in 2019.
According to the player, these two sides are “every footballer’s dream” and he “could never have said no” to either Liverpool or Bayern.