“There have been many inquiries from various English clubs, but Southampton submitted an offer, it was very interesting for us and Vegard," Ole Gunnar Solksjaer told local Norwegian newspaper Romsdals Budstikke. "We are more or less agreed with the club, but nothing is 100% confirmed.”
Liverpool did its due diligence before signing Forren to its side. The club wanted to bring him in for a tryout prior to inking what would have reportedly ended up being a £4 million deal, according to Liverpool FC Media Watch.
Forren has drawn some buzz during the January transfer window from other top-flight clubs, but hasn’t been corralled just yet.
Everton and Fuller were also in the mix to sign the Norwegian defender prior to Southampton swooping in with their last-minute offer, according to talkSPORT.
Forren seems excited to make the next step, but understands the challenge ahead of him during this transition, according to talkSPORT:
Playing in the Premier League would of course be a big challenge if I get the chance. It’s a different pace of football. But I have developed a lot through good experiences in the Europa League and with the national team. It gives me confidence that I can perform in the Premier League.
Former professional and Norwegian International Vegard Heggem made his thoughts known about the possibility of Forren playing for Liverpool (via Twitter):
Forren: tough player, loves to get stuck in. Reads the game well, good passer of the ball. But: unproven at top int. level.— Vegard Heggem (@vedgy) January 14, 2013
He also said, in conversation on Twitter, that Forren would have a better shot at getting a spot in the Southampton side’s regular lineup than he would at Liverpool.
More money and playing more regular football are certainly convincing motivators that have helped change his mind at the last minute.
But Anfield shouldn’t be too upset about the Saints' actions.
Forren, while a capable defender at his club level and for Norway’s international team, is still vastly unproven. Plus, Liverpool is playing well enough as it is and adding the defender wasn’t a surefire improvement.
Bringing the Norwegian in now wouldn’t guarantee he would even see the pitch, let alone play regularly.
Brendan Rodgers would be better off finding a younger and more highly touted defender to bring in to develop than a 24-year-old who may or may not have the skills to compete with top-flight competition.
The goal is to not only compete, but to win. Liverpool needs to stock up on better players in order to close the gap in the Premier League table.
If not they need to invest in younger footballers with a higher ceiling, who could potentially develop into stars eventually.