Nobby Solano has admitted to FourFourTwo that he passed up a once-in-a-lifetime move to Liverpool before embarking on an emotional homecoming at Newcastle United in August 2015, after a discussion with one Alan Shearer.
15 years ago, the Tyneside faithful were thrilled to learn that a bona fide fan favourite was set to wear the iconic black and white shirt again.
Peruvian play-maker Solano was back for a second spell at St James’ Park, joining for a bargain £1.5 million after just 18 months at Premier League rivals Aston Villa.
And it seems that the bright lights of Newcastle were impossible to turn down, even when Rafa Benitez and Liverpool came calling (quite literally).
“I was driving back to Newcastle when I had a call from one of Rafa Benitez’s assistants,” the now-45-year-old has told FourFourTwo.
“But I’d already spoken to (Newcastle heroes) Alan Shearer and Stevie Harper, who said, ‘You’ve got to come back.’ So that was that.”
Back in the summer of 2015, it is fair to say Liverpool were not the Premier League force they would become over a decade later under the charismatic Jurgen Klopp.
The Merseyside giants had finished a distant fifth in the 2004/05 campaign, behind arch rivals Everton believe it or not, with a talented if mixed squad containing the likes of Djibril Cisse, Luis Garcia, Florent Sinama-Pongolle and Fernando Morientes failing to fire consistently enough.
Solano, meanwhile, enjoyed a successful return to Newcastle before winding down his English football career with West Ham, Leicester and Hull City.
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