Donis Avdijaj has rued his decision to snub a “mega money” transfer to join Liverpool earlier in his career, saying he “bitterly” regrets the decision.
Kosovo international Avdijaj joined Schalke when he was 14 in 2011 before making his debut for the first-team in 2014.
Following loan spells at Sturm Graz and Roda, Avdijaj left Schalke – having only made 12 appearances in the first-team – to join Willem II on a free transfer in 2018.
He was reportedly watched by Unai Emery’s Arsenal back in January 2019, though a transfer never materialised.
Since then, he has moved onto Trabzonspor in Turkey before signing a six-month contract in January 2020 with Scottish side Hearts.
Now, out of contract again, Avdijaj says he regrets not taking up opportunities with Liverpool and Real Madrid earlier in his career.
Avdijaj told Sport1 (via Sport Witness): “My biggest mistake, which I bitterly regret, was that I turned down a mega offer from Liverpool FC. They approached me before I signed the long-term contract with Schalke, which was a matter close to my heart. I also had one [offer] from Real Madrid.”
On his time at Schalke, Avdijaj added: “It made me happy back then [in 2014], I didn’t really know that. I still believe that at that time I lacked the necessary support from Schalke, otherwise a lot could have gone differently.
“However, there were always moments when I had to fight my way through. Thank God I have managed to this day. But at the time, I wasn’t the player who trained and played with the professionals. I was just the boy with the €47m clause. That has already burdened me.”
Salah in no hurry to leave Liverpool
Despite Avdijaj’s regrets, it’s unlikely the feeling is mutual. Liverpool are, of course, riding the crest of a wave having ended their 30-year wait for a domestic league title.
One of their key men, Mohamed Salah, meanwhile, has expressed his joy and love for life on Merseyside. He’s also labelled his Reds teammate “the best in the league”.
“I’m very happy, I can’t describe my feelings after we won the league after 30 years,” Salah added.
“I can see people’s joy and this is so important for all of us. I enjoy the atmosphere here, I love this place and I hope to stay for a long time. The atmosphere here is different to any other place.
“We have adapted well as a team and our understanding is perfect. If this continues, we can achieve more. It’s difficult to maintain our current level, but it’s not impossible.”