Liverpool FC forward Victor Moses has revealed how he made a U-turn on Brendan Rodgers- then a youth team coach at Stamford Bridge- in 2005 when the Northern Irishman approached him to play for Chelsea academy.
In a lengthy interview with Sportsmail at a launch event for EA SPORTS FIFA 14, the 24-year-old spoke on a wide range of issues, from the Reds’ chances of winning a first Premier League title since 1990, to Luis Suarez, who he described as a “top lad and an amazing striker” and to how he eventually chose to wear the ‘Green and White’ colours of the Nigeria national flag over the Union Jack.
Moses completed a season-long loan move from Chelsea to Anfield on transfer deadline day as Rodgers aimed to strike a balance between exciting ball-players in his formation with the absence of Suarez- whose ten-match ban is due after Saturday’s game against Southampton and could return against Manchester United in the midweek League Cup tie.
The Nigerian revealed the now Liverpool manager courted him as a 16-year-old playing for Crystal Palace to come join the Chelsea academy where he, Rodgers, was a youth coach and guess what? He agreed but on the second thought had a change of mind.
“I’ve known the gaffer from when I was 14 and he wanted me to go to Chelsea when I was only little, still a teenager,” Moses said.
“We had a chat and I was expected to move there. He phoned and I told him I was going to go.
But then I had another think about it and didn’t turn up. I just didn’t go I didn’t ring him or anything. I just didn’t go and stayed at Palace… Victor Moses.
Moses, who made his Championship debut for ‘The Eagles’ against Cardiff City in November 2007 continued by saying the allure of Palace’s first-team shirt prompted him to suddenly make such reconsideration.
“I thought there was no point going to a bigger club like that and not getting in the first-team, not playing,” he added.
The winger scored against Swansea last Monday in his debut for the ‘Kops’ at the Liberty Stadium. He believes Rodgers has forgiven him for his indecision, recalling instances which could have contributed to the manager’s long-time admiration for him.
“I think so! I was still little then. It was schoolboy stuff. I was fourteen then. I started playing first-team when I was sixteen at Palace and I started playing in games against the gaffer’s (Rodgers) teams.
“I played against Reading and against Swansea so I played against him twice. I think I scored against them the second time as well! He didn’t mention it. He let me off!
“Now it’s my chance to pay him back for the respect he’s shown in coming for me again,” said Moses, who won Afcon 2013 with the Super Eagles.
Having arrived in South London at the age of 11 after departing the war-torn Kaduna State to go leave with his relatives and study in South Norwood, Moses eventually decided to play for the Super Eagles after featuring for the England U-16 and U-21 teams.
He added that Samson Siasia, former Super Eagles head coach, was instrumental to his decision when Fabio Capello and the English FA had overlooked his tendencies.
“No-one gave me a call to play for England or to persuade me to play for England,” Moses recalls. “The Nigerian manager Samson Siasia was always calling me, asking me to play for them. He kept pressuring me and so I did.
“… The Nigeria manager actually came over to England to talk to me about it,” he added.