Now a pundit, Richards has revealed it was always the 29-year-old's ambition to be a star for the Reds.
"I had the pleasure of playing with Mo for six months in Florence in 2015," he wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.
"He used to tell me on the afternoons we would go out for coffee of his ambition to be a star for Liverpool. They were the team he always watched.
"When he joined Fiorentina on loan from Chelsea, he was frustrated with himself. Things hadn't worked out at Stamford Bridge but it was always in his mind that he would go back to England to show everyone what he could do.
"During those first few weeks, as much I hit it off with him, I was confused by his situation. From what I saw in training each day, I couldn't understand how he had not ripped it up for Chelsea."
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