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Liverpool may wonder if it could have had its own answer to Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce

It seems everyone has something to say about Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce. Even Andy Murray weighed in on the discourse, jokingly congratulating the singer for ‘her’ Super Bowl win after the Kansas City Chiefs secured an overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

The good news for FSG is that Liverpool will get its turn to cash in on Taylor-mania. The global megastar is coming to Anfield in the summer as part of her Eras Tour (and yes, I’ll absolutely be in attendance).

But as she has seemingly managed to whip up massive new interest in something as ubiquitous in America as the NFL, perhaps Liverpool will look back and wonder whether it could have had its own version of the Swift/Kelce sensation. Let me elaborate.

Cast your mind back, if you can bear it, to the height of the pandemic. There were plenty of worse problems than the suspension of football (sorry, Travis and Taylor, soccer), but Liverpool fans were still craving any kind of content hit from their beloved stars, who had been forced out of action just one win away from Premier League glory.

Remember those videos of the squad training together over Zoom? Remember Andy Robertson’s joke ‘schedule’ where he repeatedly called up Trent Alexander-Arnold to check in on him? In the absence of the actual sport, all of this provided a much-needed dopamine boost.

But in terms of the raw numbers, it seems nothing was as much of a hit as that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Perrie Edwards dance. The midfielder is now at Beşiktaş, where he has started well but felt the familiar frustration of injury, while he has also welcomed a son with the Little Mix star since the pair went viral, amassing 11.9 million views.

Posted to Edwards’ Instagram account in March 2020, and captioned ‘precautionary self-isolation can be fun!’, the video shows her and Oxlade-Chamberlain performing a neatly choreographed dance up some stairs. Trust me, it’s better when you watch it.

In August of 2020, after football had resumed and the Reds had claimed the title, Oxlade-Chamberlain posed with Edwards while donning the retro remake of Liverpool’s green and white jersey. That garnered more than 450,000 likes on Instagram, so the club at least felt the residual glow of the L4 answer to America’s latest power couple.

Unlike with Swift and Kelce, there was nothing by way of backlash either. Edwards and Oxlade-Chamberlain even got their own song from the Liverpool faithful. We’ll go with the slightly more PG version that Edwards herself sung during an appearance on Capital:

“You to me are everything, my Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, oh baby, oh baby! You were there when we won six, and now he’s kissing Little Mix, oh baby, oh baby!”

Edwards did remark that the lyrics were a little off. “I’m a bit bothered by the fact it’s ‘now he’s kissing Little Mix. Not he’s kissing Perrie, his girlfriend, but all of the band.” But she confessed she thought the chant was ‘really good’.

Later, Edwards (and the pair’s young son) would even make it to the Anfield pitch during end-of-season celebrations. She was in attendance as Liverpool gave Oxlade-Chamberlain his farewell.

But all things considered, the collision of two worlds was far less marked than what we have seen with Swift and Kelce. It was never the case that you couldn’t get through a Liverpool match without hearing a reference to Edwards.

Perhaps she inadvertently hit on the reason in that Capital interview. Being a part of Little Mix rather than a solo star possibly provided that degree of separation — after all, if fans of the band had all jumped on the Liverpool wagon, they would have had to divide their loyalties with Watford, where Andre Gray was playing at the time. He has children with Leigh-Anne Pinnock, another member of the group.
Without meaning to take any shots at Little Mix, there’s also definitely ‘levels’ of famous at play. Edwards and co. are on indefinite hiatus, but the British group still manage an impressive 17.5m monthly Spotify listeners. However, Swift is at the zenith of her mega-star powers, and attracts over 100m listeners.

As it happens, Edwards has been teasing the launch of her first solo project recently (Oxlade-Chamberlain has been loyally liking the various Instagram posts, you’ll be pleased to hear). Best of luck to her — if all goes well, maybe Beşiktaş will have soccer’s answer to Swift and Kelce.

That never quite happened at Liverpool. But we’ll always have the stair dance.

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