Controversial former Liverpool forward El Hadji Diouf has claimed that he regrets signing for Liverpool, as his failed spell at Anfield could have been avoided had he picked another suitor back in the summer of 2002.
Diouf signed for Liverpool for around £10m following the summer's World Cup in Japan and Korea, and his arrival was met with excitement on Merseyside, following a string of impressive performances for Senegal. However, the striker never lived up to expectations, and after two short years (and just three Premier League goals) he left the club to join Bolton Wanderers.
While regarded as one of the Reds' biggest transfer mistakes of the Premier League era, Diouf has continued to be an outspoken critic of his former club. Looking back on his 17-year professional footballing career, he told on RMC's Footisme programme (as quoted by GFFN) just how much he regretted choosing to sign for Liverpool.
He said: "I can say today that the shirt that I regret wearing the most was Liverpool’s, because if I were to do that part of my career again, I would have gone to FC Barcelona or Manchester United. At the time, they wanted me too."
The now 37-year-old former Senegal international spent two full seasons at Liverpool and scored only six goals in 80 appearances. In his third season at Liverpool he was sent on loan to Bolton, whom he eventually joined on a permanent deal a year later. He went on to play for the likes of Sunderland, Blackburn, Doncaster and Rangers.
Diouf is already a disliked figure by a number of Liverpool fans, following criticism from Liverpool legends Steven Gerrard's and Jamie Carragher.
The bad blood between Diouf and and Liverpool's finest dates back to Gerrard's autobiography, in which the former Reds captain wrote: “His (Diouf's) attitude was all wrong. I felt he wasn't really arsed about putting his body on the line to get Liverpool back at the top. Diouf was just interested in himself."