Heerenveen winger, Chidera Ejuke, has opened up on how he missed a chance to feature for Premier League giants, Liverpool four years ago.
The forward revealed he was scouted at the age of 18 and went on to have a trial with the Reds but failed to impress at Anfield and had to return to Nigeria disappointed.
The 22-year-old, who shone for Heerenveen during the 2019-20 campaign, revealed the incident has always inspired him to perform better.
“When I was just 18-years-old and still living in Nigeria, there was a scouting programme on the other side of the country,” Ejuke told Voetbal.
“I was picked out together with three peers by a scout from England. We were allowed to have a trial at Liverpool. It was the first time that I left my country and then also for an internship in my dream competition.
“We were warmly welcomed at Liverpool. We did an internship there for a few weeks, it went pretty well, but I probably wasn’t good enough.
“Liverpool was not interested and so we had to return to Nigeria. That was just as tough. This was the opportunity I had been dreaming about all these years and if it doesn’t work out, it’s bitter. It felt like I had let down my agent and my family.
“If I had taken that chance, it would have been a different story, but it was a good experience. That missed opportunity became a source of motivation for me and it helped me grow as a player. I had tasted Europe and now I wanted more.”
The forward left Nigeria in 2017 after playing for Gombe United in the NPFL to start his European career in Norway with Valerenga.
Ejuke made a key impact during his two-year stay with the Intility Arena outfit which saw a number of European clubs jostle for his signature.
The winger, however, signed for Dutch club Heerenveen in the summer of 2019 after snubbing interests from Besiktas, Lazio and Roma.
Since his arrival at Abe Lenstra Stadium, the 22-year-old has scored 10 goals and provided six assists in 29 appearances across all competitions and ended the 2019-20 season as one of the top dribblers in the Dutch top-flight.
The forward has represented Nigeria at the U17 and U20 level and will hope to continue his development with the Super Frisians in the 2020-2021 season.