Ex-England international centre-back Jonathan Woodgate, who most recently worked as manager of Middlesbrough before he was sacked back in June, appeared on the latest edition of The Greatest Game with Jamie Carragher and the former Liverpool scout revealed that he recommended French left-back Theo Hernandez to the Merseyside club when he worked there.
However, on this podcast, Woodgate revealed that he developed an adoration for the £40.5m-rated man during his time as a Liverpool scout, which lasted from August 2016 until March 2017 at which point Hernandez was an Atletico Madrid player on loan at Alaves, and called for the Reds to sign him.
Woodgate said: (33:00) “I loved him, absolutely adored him but they decided they didn’t want him. He’s done okay, to be honest with you, he’s at AC Milan now, Theo Hernandez, bombs on for fun, machine.”
Do you wish Liverpool had signed Hernandez instead of Robertson?
TIF Thoughts on Woodgate’s Hernandez revelation…
Given that Hernandez has been an ever-present in the league for the current Serie A leaders this term, with the left-back earning the second-highest overall WhoScored rating (7.53) of any Milan player in the league for the 2020/21 campaign, perhaps it would be fair to say that this was far from a poor recommendation from Woodgate.
Hernandez was sold by Atletico to Real Madrid for £21.6m in the summer of 2017, just months after Woodgate departed from the Merseyside club and in the same summer that Liverpool signed left-back Andy Robertson from Hull City for £8.1m, so perhaps that would’ve been their time to sign Hernandez.
However, while Hernandez has arguably developed into a very good player, it’s difficult to say that Liverpool should have moved for him instead of Robertson, given that Robertson was signed for much less money than Hernandez moved for that same summer, and Robertson has been very successful during his time at Anfield, making the UEFA fans’ Team of the Year in 2019 and the PFA Team of the Year for both the 2018/19 season and the 2019/20 season.
With that in mind, perhaps Reds fans can rest easy knowing that the club moved for him instead of Woodgate’s recommendation.