September 24, 2021

Gulacsi opens up on Liverpool spell & why he had to leave under Rodgers

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The Hungary international is enjoying his time in the Bundesliga, but had harboured hopes of making it big with the Reds in his younger years

RB Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi has opened up on his time at Liverpool, where he spent five years attempting to force his way into contention to be the team’s first-choice.

Gulacsi was on the Reds’ books from 2008 to 2013 – following a loan spell in the 2007-08 season – but never managed a competitive first-team appearance before sealing a switch to Red Bull Salzburg.

Standing in his way of a spot in the starting XI was iconic shot-stopper Pepe Reina, but the Hungary international claims he never gave up hope of unseating the Spaniard until Brendan Rodgers took over as head coach.

Never out of the question

On pushing to become Anfield’s number one, Gulacsi told Goal and SPOX: “When you see how Wojciech Szczesny at Arsenal or David de Gea at Atletico got their chances and took them, it was never completely out of the question for me.

“As a third goalkeeper, though, it only works if something happens to the two in front of you, whatever it may be. I wasn’t hoping for them to get injured, of course. Pepe was playing at a high level, it was very difficult to get past him. 

“On top of that, in England they usually go for older, experienced goalkeepers as number two. It was difficult to move up in the rankings.”

He added: “Rodgers became coach and he also wanted to look at all the goalkeepers first. He wanted to keep me as number three. Pepe was injured a lot again, so I must have been on the bench 15, 16 times. 

“After the season, my advisor at the time spoke to Rodgers and said: ‘Peter is now 23 and going into the last year of his contract. There are exactly three paths for him: he leaves the club and becomes the clear number one somewhere, he extends the contract and is loaned out for two years or the contract is extended and he becomes Liverpool’s permanent number two.’ 

“Rodgers said quite clearly that it will be difficult with the last two options, but they will not put any obstacles in my way.”

Premier League move a possibility?

At 31 years old, Gulacsi still has a fair few years left at the top of his game. 

And while he and his family are happy in Leipzig, having settled in the city after six years of residency, he admits that he can’t rule out a move elsewhere in the future.

“Despite my Liverpool past, I don’t necessarily want to return to the UK,” he said. “I’m happy with what my family and I have in Leipzig and I definitely want to achieve something with the club. 

“On the other hand, you can never rule anything out in football, it often happens very quickly. That’s why I don’t want to promise anything definitive now.”

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