On Wednesday night, Marcos Llorente scored twice to knock Liverpool out of the Champions League. But if things had gone differently, he could’ve been a Newcastle player two years ago.
In January 2018, the Spaniard was still at Real Madrid. And according to AS, Newcastle were interested in signing him on loan.
They faced competition from Deportivo, with Alaves and Real Betis interested as well.
It was the Rafa Benitez connection that saw Llorente linked with the Magpies, something that happened a lot during his tenure. A lot of players joined because they wanted to work with Rafa.
And this wasn’t the first time Llorente was linked with Newcastle. It was actually in 2016 when his name first hit the gossip columns.
With Newcastle suffering relegation, Moussa Sissoko was on the way out of the club. And according to the Guardian, Real Madrid were keen. They were going to offer two youngsters on loan to sweeten the deal, one of which was Llorente.
But in the end, Sissoko went to Spurs and Llorente stayed in Spain.
In 2019 he would change clubs, but remained in the same city. Atletico took him from their rivals, paying £35million for the midfielder.
And on Wednesday night, he broke Liverpool hearts.
The Reds had just gone in front for the first time against Atleti, but Llorente capitalised on an Adrian mistake to put his side back in the lead.
And with Liverpool chasing the game, Llorente would net another to ensure it would be Diego Simeone’s side in the next round.
The 25-year-old was the hero at Anfield, but who knows where he’d be right now if he’d completed a move to Newcastle instead.