Liverpool missed out on potential Gini Wijnaldum replacement

Liverpool could face paying a big fee to find a replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum this summer.

The Dutch midfielder looks set to depart for free when his contract expires as he seeks a fresh challenge.

The Reds will scour the globe for potential replacements who could cost millions - but they may have let one get away for the most unusual of reasons.

Celta Vigo midfielder Renato Tapia has been making an impression in LaLiga this season.

The 25-year-old has been compared to Casemiro ahead of their clash with Real Madrid this weekend.

Tapia had trials at Liverpool and Tottenham when he first arrived in Europe from South America in 2013.

But Liverpool rejected Tapia when he underwent a medical examination because they believed Tapia would not grow beyond 1.8m.

With concerns over his size, he missed out on a move literally by a matter of centimetres and eventually joined FC Twente.

It would appear, however, that Liverpool’s medical team made a mistake as he is now listed as 1.85m on Celta Vigo’s official website.

Regardless of his size, Tapia has made his mark and started 25 of 27 LaLiga games for Celta Vigo this season.

He has emerged as a top performer for the Spanish club and Liverpool will have to wonder what could have been had his talents been added to their academy when he was a youngster.

Tapia, who has already won 55 caps for Peru, previously confirmed that he was not signed by Liverpool due to his height

“It didn't happen because of the issue of height,” he told Peru’s official website in 2013.

“They did the analysis of my hand and they told me that it would only grow up to 1.80 meters. That was the point.”

Tapia was a centre-back at the time and the minimum requirement was 1.90metres. Instead, he has carved out a defensive midfield role and looks set for a bright future.

With Wijnaldum heading for an exit, he could have been a useful player for Jurgen Klopp to have around.

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