Wolves captain Conor Coady has spoken about how tough it was to realise that his Liverpool dream was over when he eventually moved on from the club.
Coady revealed that he knew it was time to let go of his Anfield ties after the club went close to the 2013/14 Premier League title.
The defender, who Jamie Carragher feels the Reds under-sold when they allowed him to leave, had spent the campaign on loan at Sheffield United but felt as though his time on Merseyside had run its course.
The 27-year-old had been at the club he supported since 2005, but Coady has now firmly established himself in the top-flight with Wolves and is on the fringes of Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
The defender, however, has praised the tuition of former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers for the impact he had on his early days as a pro.
“Brendan Rodgers was good to me when I was young,” he told Sky Sports
“I had a season training with the first team at Melwood, and learning off them, that was big for me, but I always knew it was tough.
“I was always realistic, I was learning a lot off the first team, how to play and do things.
“I knew at some point I’d have to come away from Liverpool to really experience being a first-team player.
“It was the best decision I ever made, and Brendan Rodgers was great for that; he pushed that to send me on loan and try to improve my game.”
Coady went on to join Huddersfield for the 2014-15 season before heading to Molineux, where he has become a massive favourite.
“Even being on loan at Sheffield United (in 2013-14), I loved the season and it was a great club for me to go to, coming back I still knew it was going to be tough,” he added, via the Daily Express.
“Liverpool were always getting better, they were always improving, and the players in my position were ridiculous.
“But I just wanted to play football. I knew where I was at, the type of level I was at, but I just wanted to be part of a first team, playing in games which meant something, playing against men.”
While Coady still dreams about rejoining his old club one day, one of his Wolves teammates has been linked with a switch to Anfield in the form of Adama Traore.
There has been some suggestion that the flying winger is one of the players Liverpool would look at should Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah leave.
Jurgen Klopp called Traore “unplayable” in January earlier this year when the former Barcelona man caused his side huge problems despite a 2-1 win.
In the view of Coady, there will always be concern at Wolves that they could lose their best players, including Traore.
“I’m looking at the players around me, I’m not looking at myself, but the players around me I’m thinking – I hope this isn’t the window. I’ll be the same when the next window comes, whenever that is,” he said.
“Honestly, the satisfaction I get playing for Wolves, the players I’m playing with, I consider myself lucky because I’ve been there for a few years, and to see the players who have come through the door in the last few years is fantastic.
“I’m always thinking I hope this isn’t the window where we lose a Ruben [Neves], a Joao [Moutinho], a [Diogo] Jota or an Adama [Traore].
“The way the club is at the moment, and the players and characters we’ve got in the dressing room, I wouldn’t change it for the world. So every window I think I hope this isn’t the one.”