Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez believes Sergio Aguero may not have become one of the world's most sought-after players had he taken the Argentina striker to Anfield.
The 20-year-old was linked with a move to the Merseysiders before opting to join Atletico Madrid, the Reds' Champions League opponents on Wednesday, from Independiente in 2006.
Aguero has since gone on to justify his price tag, thought to have been around £15million, and would now be likely to fetch at least double that fee were he to leave the Vicente Calderon.
But Benitez told The Times: "Two years ago the agents were talking with us about players and he was one of those but he was too young and [Atletico] paid big money for him, around 18 million euros [about £14 million] for a player who was a risk.
"In the Premier League it's different and sometimes players will need more time here to improve."