5 Players Liverpool released too soon

2) Gabriel Paletta

Gabriel Paletta

Remember him? Paletta starred for the Argentinian under-20 team, that won the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, alongside starlets such as Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero. He had come a long way in one year, having established himself at Banfield, a small club in the greater Buenos Aires. The Argentinean centre-back moved from Banfield to Anfield when he left his homeland to join Rafa Benitez at Liverpool in the summer of 2006, but he struggled with the pace of the English game.

Paletta scored his only Liverpool goal in a 4-3 League Cup win over Reading, but had a woeful display in a 6-3 defeat to Arsenal later in the same competition and that seemed to damage his Liverpool career and he left Anfield after only three Premier League games to join Boca Juniors in 2007.

He helped Boca reach the semi-final of the 2008 Copa Libertadores, where the Buenos Aires club lost 5-3 on aggregate to the Brazilians from Fluminense. In July 2010 Paletta left for Italian Serie A club Parma. Paletta was clearly more ready now than four years ago to leave his homeland. He has now become a regular fixture in the heart of Parma’s defence making 60 appearances in two years.

Paletta joined Liverpool when he clearly was not ready for the move to Europe. It may have been wise for Liverpool to loan him back to Argentina instead of selling him, so that he could have come back when he was ready. This is a clear sign that at times, young players are signed too early.

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