Luis Alberto admits that it is “a little bit” his fault that he flopped at Liverpool before going on to become a star at Lazio.
The Spanish midfielder spent three years on the books at Anfield between 2013 and 2016.
Just one full campaign would actually be spent on Merseyside, in 2013-14, with 12 goalless appearances taken in.
With the Reds deciding that Alberto was surplus to requirements, he was loaned out to Malaga and Deportivo La Coruna before sealing a permanent move to Italy.
The 27-year-old has thrived in Serie A, earning senior international recognition along the way, and is seeing big-money moves mooted ahead of the next transfer window.
Liverpool could be forgiven for questioning their decision to let the talented winger go, but Alberto concedes that he did not offer enough in England to be deserving of an extended stay.
He told France Football: “I think it’s a little bit my fault.
“I didn’t do everything necessary to be at my level in terms of work and focus.
“What I should have done at 20, I was only able to do it at 25. It’s a shame, I lost a few years. I’m 27 now. I’m trying to make the most of it and I think there’s a lot of time left to continue to enjoy myself."
Alberto added: “I left Spain quickly, and especially a context, at Barcelona’s B team. At Liverpool, I adapted well, but it happened bit by bit.
“I finished by reaching a good level, with the possibility of playing a little bit. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance to win the Premier League.”
Alberto has seen his stock rise again in the 2019-20 campaign, with six goals and 16 assists recorded through 34 appearances for Lazio.
He has played a leading role in a season that has seen the Rome-based outfit challenge Juventus for title glory.
Lazio have him tied to terms through to the summer of 2022 but, amid the mounting interest being shown in his services, are said to be in the process of trying to thrash out an extended stay for a key man.