‘Jamal has been unlucky’ - Reds legend Kennedy on Liverpool’s Lewis pursuit
- Credit: PA
Legendary Liverpool left-back Alan Kennedy believes Norwich City defender Jamal Lewis must not lose hope of being a part of the Reds future - despite their failed transfer attempt for the Northern Irish international.
Lewis was the subject of an £8million bid from the Premier League champions with a further £2million in add-ons, an offer that the Canaries considered to be derisory.
Despite reports that Lewis was attempting to force through a move to Anfield, there has been no fall-out between City’s top brass and the left-back.
“I certainly feel Jamal’s pain,” Kennedy told the Belfast Telegraph.
“Robertson has done so well, but you need competition and, having seen Jamal a few times, I thought somebody like him would be a welcome addition, not just as back-up but who could push him and be a part of the first team.
“I would be telling Jamal and his representatives not to worry too much about it. He might need to go to another club in the meantime, but if he wants to play for Liverpool then go there and prove Liverpool wrong and show them you are worth the money.
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“Liverpool have shown with the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson in recent years that they are not afraid to bide their time for someone before eventually spending the money.”
The Reds eventually opted to sign Greek full-back Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiacos after being put off by City’s asking price, believed to be in the region of £20million.
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“He didn’t set the price,” he added. “Liverpool were trying to get him for a reasonable price. I wouldn’t say ‘on the cheap’ because if they think he’s worth £10million then so be it, but that’s more than they paid for Robertson also from a relegated club, in his case Hull.
“People think because Liverpool are champions that they have loads of money, but they have always wanted value for money.
“Liverpool could be taking a risk in their approach to Jamal. It could come back to haunt them if he continues to improve.”
Lewis is now preparing to re-join the Canaries ahead of their Championship campaign, but Kennedy believes the 22-year-old needs to utilise this experience to become a better player.
“While Jamal has been unlucky, I was very lucky,” he added. “I didn’t have great relationships at Newcastle and was desperate to move on.
“Like now, Liverpool were League and European champions. It was between them and Leeds, but you cannot turn Liverpool down.
“Liverpool also signed Alan Hansen from Partick the season I arrived and he had to bide his time to get in the side, just like how Robertson was behind Alberto Moreno when he signed.
“We used just 14 players in the first season I was there, but now it’s a squad game and you need two players for each position because you cannot afford to have weaknesses.
“Left-back has not been a problem for Liverpool, but it’s one position where they didn’t have a specialist replacement with James Milner filling in there. Jamal is good enough to play right at the top and would have been ideal.
“But he shouldn’t give up hope. He’s young enough to still be a part of Liverpool’s future.”