Harry Kewell has revealed he has ‘no regrets’ about picking Liverpool over Arsenal after leaving Leeds United in 2003.
The Australian winger was one of the star players at Elland Road as the Whites reached the UEFA Cup and Champions League semi finals in 2000 and 2001, but left the club following their relegation from the Premier League.
Having won the PFA Young Player of the Year award in 2000, Kewell was highly sought after by the league’s top clubs and admitted he even held talks with Arsene Wenger over a potential move to Highbury.
However, speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes at its launch of the 5-A-Side Bet on Leeds v Sheffield United, the former Australia international revealed the late Gerard Houllier was more persuasive, leading to his eventual Anfield switch.
“I have great, great memories of my time at Leeds United but the opportunity came for me to move on and there were about seven or eight clubs that were seriously interested in me at the time.” he said.
“But when I spoke with Gerard Houllier, the way he spoke about football was just phenomenal. His vision completely sold it for me.
“Don’t get me wrong, I had interviews with AC Milan and Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, these are clubs and managers that are very respectable and they put their pitches forward as well, but speaking to Houllier just got me over the line.
“He told me what he wanted to do with his Liverpool squad and I knew I had to be a part of it.”
Kewell’s career on Merseyside started brightly with his seven Premier League goals from midfield helping the club to a fourth place finish.
Unfortunately, much of the rest of his time at the club was plagued by injury before his eventual departure to Galatasaray in 2008, but he did play a part in Reds’ successful Champions League campaign in 2005.
Kewell started the final against Milan befoer being withdrawn through injury in the first half, yet still believes he made the right decision to snub the Gunners who of course went on to win the Premier League unbeaten the year after he moved to Liverpool.
“I don’t have any regrets at all about choosing Liverpool over Arsenal. Yes they went on to complete that unbelievable invincible season and it was truly phenomenal what they achieved and I always had a lot of respect for Arsene Wenger and his interest in me.
“But for me a Champions League is something that every player wants to get their hands on.”