Remember when Robert Lewandowski came a mere Icelandic ash cloud away from signing for Sam Allardyce’s Blackburn in 2010?
A true case of ‘what if’.
But last summer Liverpool encountered an even more groundbreaking sliding doors moment that entirely changed the course of their season.
The Reds’ recruiting department set about adding a quick, direct winger to their attacking unit to complement Sadio Mane after his impressive debut campaign.
Michael Edwards, the club’s sporting director, drew up a list of names topped by Bayer Leverkusen and Germany hotshot Julian Brandt.
Jurgen Klopp was a keen admirer of his compatriot and the wheels were set in motion for a £25m deal.
But Brandt rejected Liverpool’s approach, citing a lack of guaranteed game time as his main reason for staying at Leverkusen.
In normal circumstances a club missing out on their prime attacking target would be a dagger to their hearts.
But, like any well run scouting department, they moved onto the next in line.
And, in a weird twist of fate, Brandt’s cold shoulder was arguably the best thing to happen to Liverpool for years.
Because the player below Brandt on their wishlist was none other than Mohamed Salah.
The Reds thrashed out a club-record deal worth £36m with Roma to bring the Egyptian to Anfield well ahead of the start of the season.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Salah arrived in England with a point to prove. Eyebrows were raised.
But he has emphatically extinguished any doubters with some truly sparking performances.
The Reds’ Egyptian King has risen to deified status for both club and country and has helped establish the most formidable attacking trio in the Premier League.
32 league goals. Count them. Thirty two.
In stark contrast, Brandt has scored nine league league goals and three assists for Leverkusen.
A missed chance became a masterstroke.
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