Peter Crouch has admitted he wanted to leave Liverpool just months after signing at Anfield from Southampton in 2005.
The striker failed to score in his first 18 games and had grown frustrated at his role in Rafa Benitez's side.
However, he persisted and, despite considering a premature exit, eventually began to find the net and become a valuable member of the Liverpool squad.
“I went through a little barren spell – well, quite a big barren spell (laughs) – and I really just wanted to head back to Southampton as fast as possible," Crouch told FourFourTwo, quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
“I was thinking 'what have I done?'
“Thankfully, I stuck it out. The manager wanted me to do different things to what I was used to. I was doing them and working really hard, but I was trying to score that goal while playing a lot deeper.
“It got to the stage where I was saying to myself: 'I'm going to have to start being more selfish', so I played higher up the pitch, perhaps against the manager's wishes (…) but I've got nothing bad to say about Rafa, he was first class.”
Crouch had improved significantly by his second season at Liverpool, although he was left on the bench for the Champions League final defeat against AC Milan in 2007, as Dirk Kuyt started alone up front in the 2-1 defeat. The Stoke star did come on for the final 15 minutes but feels he might've had more impact from the kick off.
“I'd say my biggest regret in football was not starting that game," he added. "I felt I should have been in the team.
“I'd scored a lot of goals that season in the Champions League and played pretty much every game, so not getting picked to start the final was devastating for me.”