In December 2018, a 22-year-old Kingsley Coman seriously considered retiring from professional football.
A relentless and brutal series of injuries had taken their toll on his body and, more importantly, his mind. And who could blame him?
It felt as though every time Coman returned after months of gruelling recuperation he would break down quicker than a rusty old Ford Pinto, another heart-breaking spell on the sidelines the punishment for all that persistence.
“It was a very difficult year. When I hurt myself, it was the end of the world for me,” Coman told TF1 at the time, giving a moving and harrowing interview from the depths of rock bottom.
“I hope I don’t have to relive what I’ve been through. Enough is enough. I will not accept a third operation – it will mean maybe my foot is not made for this level.
“I will then lead another life, an anonymous life.”
Fortunately, Coman’s luck appears to have turned since those dark days.
But while the devastating ligament tears haven’t returned, the niggling issues remain. The France international has suffered eight different injuries since the start of 2019/20, missing 15 games as result.
Would Liverpool consider paying £80m for Kingsley Coman?
So while there can be no doubting the winger’s talent – he’s lifted 25 trophies at the age of just 25 and scored the winner in last year’s Champions League final – his durability remains a major cause for concern.
And that’s a point every single Liverpool supporter was at pains to make when SportBILD’s Christian Falk claimed in June it would take a fee of about £80 million to lure Coman from Bayern Munich. That is £80 million minimum by the way (Sport1).
For that sort of price, surely Liverpool would be better off saving up for an Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe, both of whom are expected to be on the move in 2022.
Heck, Manchester United are paying less than that for Jadon Sancho, a younger player without a history of injury problems.
Three years on from hitting his lowest ebb, Coman is still going strong – better than ever, in fact. But his reputation will always be tainted by the strains and sprains that almost destroyed a hugely promising career before it really began.
Here’s what some Liverpool fans on Twitter had to say about the Coman links: