'Biggest mistake of my career': Former Bundesliga pro reflects on Liverpool snub

Donis Avdijaj (L) in action during the FC Zurich vs. FC Sion match in Swiss Super League.

'Biggest mistake of my career': Former Bundesliga pro reflects on Liverpool snub

Festus Chuma 13:38 - 22.06.2024

Kosovo international has expressed regrets over rejecting Liverpool for Schalke which led to struggles in replicating youth success in professional football across various European clubs.

Kosovo international Donis Avdijaj has openly expressed regret over one of his career decisions involving Premier League giant Liverpool labeling it as the "biggest mistake" of his life.

Avdijaj burst onto the football scene as a teenager, showing immense promise in Schalke’s youth ranks.

From 2011 onwards, he dazzled spectators and scouts alike by netting an impressive 76 goals in just 77 appearances for the under-17 and under-19 teams.

His prowess did not go unnoticed, drawing eyes from not only Liverpool but also La Liga titans Real Madrid.

However, Avdijaj chose to remain loyal to Schalke, the club he joined at a young age, a decision he now views with a tinge of regret.

“My biggest mistake, which I bitterly regret, was turning down another mega offer from Liverpool before I signed the long contract with Schalke, which was a matter close to my heart. I also had one from Real Madrid,” Avdijaj revealed as The Star.

His transition to the senior squad at Schalke was marked by high expectations, which unfortunately, he struggled to meet.

Over a span of seven years, he only made 12 first-team appearances for the German club.

This was a stark contrast to his meteoric rise through their youth levels, and it led to his departure in 2018 to join Willem II in the Netherlands.

Avdijaj's career path post-Schalke saw him traverse various leagues across Europe, including stints in Turkey, Scotland, Cyprus, and Switzerland, though he failed to make a significant impact at any of these stops.

It was not until he joined Austrian Bundesliga club Hartberg that he started to find his footing again.

Under the guidance of Markus Schopp, with whom he had previously worked at Sturm Graz, Avdijaj finished the past season with an impressive tally of 12 goals and six assists.

Reflecting on his turbulent journey and the road not taken with Liverpool, Avdijaj maintains a resilient and forward-looking attitude. Despite the setbacks, his confidence in his abilities remains unshaken.

“I know that it is up to me what my sporting future looks like. It certainly doesn't matter whether I've played at one club for five years or have 10 clubs in five years. In the end, only one thing counts for me, namely that I can play football and show what I can do,” he stated as per Sport1.

During the time Avdijaj was linked with Liverpool, the club was undergoing a period of tumultuous transfer dealings under manager Brendan Rodgers.

Liverpool's strategy in the transfer market later stabilized significantly under Jurgen Klopp, who succeeded Rodgers and revitalized the club's fortunes.

Now at 27, Avdijaj looks back at his decision to stay with Schalke with a mix of nostalgia and regret.

His career marked by early promise and subsequent challenges serves as a poignant reminder of the critical crossroads young athletes face and the far-reaching impact of their choices.

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