How Roy Hodgson sold the wrong Liverpool player – because he got his name mixed up

Roy Hodgson Liverpool

The Swede came through the youth ranks at Anfield and claims that his departure was the result of a gaffe by the former England boss.

Kacaniklic was sent to Fulham as part of the deal that saw Paul Konchesky arrive at Merseyside in August 2010, and went on to make 100 appearances at Craven Cottage.

“It was a bit difficult for Liverpool to replace me, but when I was in Fulham and before I signed up, I had a conversation with Roy Hodgson on the phone where we found out that he had changed the wrong Alex,” he told fotbolskananelen (opens in new tab)

“In his head, he thought he exchanged another Alex for Konchesky. But then it was too late. It’s a little funny.

“When he realised he just told me I was welcome back in Liverpool with open arms, but I had to do what I felt. I had already changed my mind and was very excited about coming to Fulham.

“When Roy Hodgson came to the club it was a little different, a big change. [Rafa] Benitez had been there before and made the club his own with everyone who worked there. When he left and took all his people with him, it became a bit turbulent. Hodgson didn’t look so much at us younger players; he wanted quick results. He wanted Paul from Fulham.”

Now 27 years old, Kaciniklic returned to Sweden in February to join Hammarby after spells with Watford, Burnley, Copenhagen and Nantes.

The only other player named 'Alex' in the Reds' Under-23 squad at the time was Alex Cooper, who left a year later to join Ross County.

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Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.