Back in June 2016, Liverpool found themselves losing one of their star youngsters to a Premier League rival. Jerome Sinclair decided his future was best served by leaving Liverpool upon the expiry of his contract and joined Watford that summer. As reported by The Sun, the compensation agreement for his move to Vicarage Road ended up seeing Liverpool bank £4 million on the former West Brom product.
Liverpool, who had worked hard to pry Sinclair from the Baggies as a talented 14-year-old, were disappointed to lose the frontman. The hope had been for him to go on and become a future Liverpool first-team option. Indeed, when he made his debut under Brendan Rodgers in 2012 he became the club’s youngest ever player.
But just four more appearances and one goal in the following three seasons led Sinclair to believe his future was brighter down south.
Nearly two years on from his departure, it is fair to say Liverpool have not been made to rue his exit.
In Sinclair’s two seasons at Watford, he has managed to muster just 12 first-team appearances for the Hornets. One solitary goal against Burton Albion in the FA Cup last season does little to paper over the cracks of what has, so far, been a disappointing time with the Hornets.
Last season he also spent a somewhat forgettable run on loan at Birmingham City, which did little to help his reputation.
The fact is, competition for places is fierce in the Watford striking department. Sinclair has failed to find his way into the squad for much of the season. Loan moves to both Sheffield United and Dutch side ADO Den Haag failed to materialise and Sinclair has spent much of the season just watching on.
Recently, after spending most of the season out of the first-team squad, Sinclair has found himself on the Watford bench. However, this is not the development he would have envisaged for himself when he turned his back on Liverpool two years ago.
This summer, it will be no surprise to see him force an exit from the Hertfordshire club to play first-team football elsewhere.
As for Liverpool, they once felt Sinclair could go on to be as big a star as Raheem Sterling was at Anfield. Now, they will be happy with the £4 million they got for their struggling former prospect.