France beat England 2-1 to reach the World Cup semi-finals on Saturday, with Liverpool fans in awe as “the one that got away” gave Didier Deschamps’ side the lead in the first half.
Alisson and Fabinho‘s Brazil and Virgil van Dijk‘s Netherlands were also eliminated from the competition on Friday, with all five players now set for a week’s break before reconvening with the Liverpool squad later this month.
Aurelien Tchouameni, the Real Madrid midfielder who Liverpool targeted in the previous summer transfer window, gave France the lead with a remarkable strike in the first half.
Harry Kane equalised from the spot, before Olivier Giroud put the French back in front. Kane looked set to equalise again when England were awarded another penalty, only to blaze his effort over the bar.
But in a game that saw Jordan Henderson and latest Liverpool midfield target Jude Bellingham start in England’s midfield, it was Tchouameni who showed the Reds what they were missing on Saturday:
Aurelien Tchouameni: The One That Got Away ™?
— Keifer MacDonald (@KeiferMacd) December 10, 2022
My word. No wonder Klopp wanted him.
— Red (@TaintlessRed) December 10, 2022
Didn’t want him anyway… pic.twitter.com/iYaY6qsDM6
— Rory Greenfield (@RoryGreenfield) December 10, 2022
That Tchouameni fella would’ve been a good signing for #LFC, wouldn’t he…
— Jack Gill (@jacklfcgill) December 10, 2022
That's staggeringly good.
Tchouaméni is already a brilliant midfielder and he'll probably go down as one of the best ever once he's into his 30s. Can do everything.
— Daniel Austin (@_Dan_Austin) December 10, 2022
— Anfield Edition (@AnfieldEdition) December 10, 2022
Last month, Tchouameni confirmed Liverpool made “the first offer” for his services last summer, but said “everything was clear” when Real emerged as an option.
For the five Liverpool players who have been eliminated in the quarter-finals, it will take some time for the wounds to heal.
Klopp, though, will be hoping that they return with a spring in their step ahead of Liverpool’s busy festive schedule, with all five possibly now in with a chance of featuring against Man City on December 22.
Darwin Nunez is due to join up with the rest of the Liverpool squad in Dubai on Monday, with Alisson, Fabinho, Van Dijk, Alexander-Arnold and Henderson likely to return the week commencing December 22.
Konate, however, will now remain in Qatar until next weekend, regardless of France’s result against Morocco in the semi-finals, with the third place play-off to take place next Saturday.