'I trained with Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso, but I should have done better at Liverpool'

Astrit Ajdarević never made a competitive appearance during his time at Liverpool
Astrit Ajdarević never made a competitive appearance during his time at Liverpool -Credit:Getty Images

Liverpool’s history is littered with plenty of failed transfers. Even in more recent and successful times, not every player brought to Anfield has proven to be a hit.

We all know of some of the more high-profile misses. The likes of Mario Balotelli, Andy Carroll and virtually every player signed by Roy Hodgson make a rather unwanted list.

Even the biggest Liverpool fan though would do well to remember the name of Astrit Ajdarević. A former Albanian international with just one cap to his name, he joined the Reds in January 2007 after two successful trials.

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He would never make a competitive appearance for the club though, despite spending two years at Anfield. Just 17 when he joined, he nevertheless got the chance to train alongside some of the biggest names to don the red shirt in the Premier League.

Ajdarević would go on to leave Liverpool in 2009, joining Leicester City upon the expiration of his contract. Now 34, the former midfielder has taken a look back on his career, and admitted he could have done more at Anfield.

"The most impressive experience for me was at Liverpool because I was only 17 years old when I went to play for that big club,” he recalled to Tribal Football. “I made many mistakes during my experience there because I thought that just due to my talent, I would achieve everything.

“But after I realised that it's not only talent, but you also need to work hard every day to achieve the things you want. The best player I have played with is without any doubt Steven Gerrard, he was just the number one for me. The things he did for that long is no coincidence, but it shows what kind of player he was.

"During my time there I had the chance to train with Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso, Fernando Torres, and I witnessed with my eyes what hard work and professionalism meant every day.

“And I am sure that if I would have had more patience and would have done that extra work more, I would have stayed there and continued playing at the highest level."

Ajdarević would play for 12 different clubs in his career, including another spell in England with Charlton Athletic in 2014, as well as claiming titles in Greece and Sweden with AEK Athens and Djurgårdens. Having retired at just 31, he now plies his trade as a pundit in Sweden, as well as working as the sporting director at Nacka FC.

"Regarding the best experience, I can say that I have had several ones where I enjoyed myself like in Greece, in Sweden, in England,” he said. “But if I have to choose, I would say the experience in Greece at AEK Athens and the experience in the UK at Charlton Athletic.

“Now I am here in Sweden working as a pundit on TV for the Champions League and Serie A. Also, I work for a club in the third division where I am the sporting director.

“Our goal is to create history with this club, and I hope we can win the league this season. For the moment I am working on these things because I wanted some peace. After all, I have a family with three kids, so I need to think about them also not only for me.

"My plan for the future is to get better and better and to achieve the highest levels of European football." says: To be fair to Ajdarević, he certainly wouldn’t have been the first player to regret not making more of his talents, and he won’t be the last either. He’d have done well to break into that Liverpool side at the time, and just getting the chance to train alongside Gerrard, Alonso and Torres is a boast few can claim.