Liverpool

I rejected mega money Liverpool transfer offer – it’s my biggest mistake I bitterly regret

It’s never easy to turn down a Premier League giant like Liverpool, and one former star regretted his choice after deciding to go for a less publicised trade.

It's never easy to turn down a Premier League giant like Liverpool, and one former star regretted his choice after deciding to go for a less publicised trade.

Donis Avdijaj once called turning down Liverpool “the biggest mistake” of his career (Image: TF-Images/Getty Images)

Rejecting Liverpool was sometimes said to be Donis Avdijaj’s “biggest mistake” in his career.

The former Bundesliga superstar, who had a stellar record in Schalke’s junior system, was in high demand. Prior to joining the senior team, Avdijaj played for Schalke’s under-17 and under-19 teams, where he scored 76 goals in 77 appearances. Avdijaj initially joined the Miners in 2011.

Prior to signing a professional contract in Gelsenkirchen, the Premier League and even Real Madrid expressed interest in him due to his strong performance at the juvenile level. Avdijaj’s career somewhat tailed down, and he became a journeyman, travelling from club to club, but he eventually regretted his choice.

“My biggest mistake, which I bitterly regret, was turning down another mega offer from Liverpool before I signed the long contract with Schalke, which was a matter close to my heart,” he said to Sport1 in the summer of 2020. I had one from Real Madrid as well.”

In his seven years with Schalke, Avdijaj made just 12 professional games before leaving permanently in the summer of 2018 to join Dutch team Willem II. Since then, though, he has had difficulty maintaining continuity in his career and has moved between clubs from Turkey, Scotland, Cyprus, and Switzerland without being able to settle down.

The 27-year-old playmaker and dynamic winger is making an impact for Hartberg in the top division of Austrian football once more. In 25 games this season, Avdijaj finished with 12 goals and 6 assists for the team led by Markus Schopp—the same coach who oversaw Sturm Graz’s reserves on his 18-month loan there ten years prior.

I rejected mega money Liverpool transfer offer – it's my biggest mistake I bitterly regret

Avdijaj is now thriving with Hartberg in Austria (Image: Franz Kirchmayr/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)

Around the time Avdijaj was originally linked to a move—generally considered to be a chaotic period in Liverpool’s transfer history—Brendan Rodgers was manager of Anfield. Under the now-departed Jurgen Klopp, the Reds reinstated a more reliable hiring process, and they will be looking to Arne Slot, his successor, for greater success.

Avdijaj was still optimistic about having a successful football career at the highest level of the game when he spoke with Sport1. He maintained that he had “never doubted” his own abilities or his capacity to have an impact on the field.

“I know that it is up to me what my sporting future looks like,” he stated. “Whether I’ve played for five years at one club or ten clubs in five years doesn’t really matter.” For me, playing football and showcasing my abilities is all that matters in the end.”

 

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