Brendan Rodgers, manager of Leicester City, returns to Anfield on Friday night to face Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, hoping to earn three points against his previous club
Brendan Rodgers is an indelible figure, whether it’s because of his successful managing career or because he speaks the words “great character” on a regular basis.
Liverpool fans will be outraged. The former Liverpool manager, who almost won the Premier League title as Jurgen Klopp’s predecessor, returns to Anfield with his Leicester team on Friday night. He’ll be hoping for an unexpected triumph against Klopp’s hot team.
Despite leaving more than seven years ago, Rodgers’ influence on Liverpool is still visible thanks to his signings. On his watch, he signed James Milner and Roberto Firmino, as well as Allan Rodrigues de Souza, a forgotten Brazilian midfielder.
Allan, as he’s more often known, joined Liverpool in the summer of 2015 from Internacional of Brazil. After failing to make an appearance for the Reds, he joined Atletico Mineiro four and a half years later, although he might still make the team some money.
That’s because Liverpool included a sell-on clause in his January 2020 move to Mineiro. They had previously made a £2.7 million profit by selling him for £3.2 million, while paying only £500,000 for his services as an 18-year-old. Allan’s career is taking off now that he’s 25.
The Brazilian’s story is obviously intriguing. Due to work visa concerns, he spent his four-and-a-half-year career at Liverpool away from Merseyside, on loan to clubs in Finland, Belgium, Germany, Cyprus, and Brazil. His resume includes stops with Eintracht Frankfurt and Fluminense.
Since returning to his homeland, Allan has established himself as an important player of Mineiro’s squad. He’s appeared in 162 games and helped them win six trophies, including the Brazilian championship and cup. Klopp, who once waxed lyrical about him, will have been unsurprised by his achievement.
“When I got here one or two months later, Allan was here, and I said, ‘Who is this?'” Klopp explained. He is a player for us, and he won the Finnish championship the week before. Why didn’t he play here is a mystery. Because it isn’t feasible.
“Then I started learning about FA rules and stuff like that. I saw him in training and I thought, ‘Oh my God, what can we do to keep this guy here and put him into the line-up?’. He’s 19 years old, an exceptional talent, a good player with a fantastic mentality, everyone loves him, and he’s a nice guy – so that’s very, really excellent. He’s an astute player.”
Klopp continued: “We hope to find a solution in the future because he will undoubtedly be a permanent member of the squad. Now, he uses this time to progress, and the next step to Brazil’s under-20 national team is a fantastic narrative.”
Although Allan was released by Liverpool, his achievement in Brazil has put him back on European football’s radar. After expressing a desire to finally make his Liverpool debut in an interview with The Athletic, he may even return to Merseyside.
In February, Allan stated: “It was always a dream of mine to play in England, and especially for Liverpool. I’d like to go back to England or a good European League. It’s still a dream of mine to play for Liverpool, and if it were up to me, I’d return to the club one day.”
Only time will tell if Allan makes a big money move to Europe and earns some money for Liverpool. If he does, it will be another reminder of Rodgers’ impact on the club, after bringing in Divock Origi, Philippe Coutinho, and Daniel Sturridge.