£12m former Liverpool target scores first goal for Croatian club he joined this summer

Hajduk Split

Artem Milevskiy has scored his first goal for Hajduk Split.

In December 2010 it was reported that Liverpool were on the brink of signing Ukrainian forward Artem Milevskiy. The Minsk-born striker had originally caught the eye of big teams when guiding Ukraine to the final of the 2006 European Under-21 Championships and had been banging in the goals for the past five seasons with Dynamo Kiev.

Roy Hodgson was the man behind the interest. The now England manager was said ready to splash £12 million on the player. Unfortunately for Milevskiy the deal collapsed - when Hodgson was sacked by Liverpool in January.

Two years later and the reports came back. Milevskiy was still impressing in Ukraine - scoring 54 goals in 122 games over the past three seasons - and Liverpool were rumoured to be considering a move for the player, as Kiev admitted they were prepared to listen to offers for his services.

This time they felt the price-tag was too high and Brendan Rodgers snapped up Daniel Sturridge instead - no complaints there.

Since then, things have taken a turn for the worse for the player.

In the 2012-13 season he failed to score for Kiev - and was released by the club at the end of the campaign.

He joined Turkish side Gaziantepspor that summer. His time at the club was memorable, for all the wrong reasons. He gained a reputation for indiscipline and an alcohol problem. He crashed his Ferrari California at high speed, whilst over the drink-drive limit, in November 2013. His contract was terminated by mutual consent a month later. His record for Gaz, nine games; one goal.

His reputation now had the better of him, and not many clubs were willing to snap him up. So he moved to Kazakhstan, joining FC Aktobe. Well, at least he did - for a week, when his contract was again cancelled by mutual consent.

In the end Croatian side Hajduk Split took a chance on the striker. The former Liverpool target was snapped up on a free transfer until the end of the season.

He has struggled to get himself into his best condition again. However, after six games for the club, he finally bagged his first goal for Hajduk last night - an important one as well.

Split were on the verge of defeat against NK Lokomotiva Zagreb yesterday, when Milevskiy popped up to score an equaliser in the final minute of the game.

That means he has scored the same amount of goals as Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Daniel Sturridge combined this campaign.

Who knows? Croatia might just offer the renaissance this former Liverpool target needs.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch