Liverpool made one of the best signings in recent history when they snapped up Virgil van Dijk from Southampton.
Eyebrows were raised as the Reds forked out £75 million for the Dutchman (BBC Sport) in January 2018, which made him the world’s most expensive defender at the time.
It has proven to be money well spent, with van Dijk having totally transformed Liverpool’s defence.
He has become arguably the best centre-half in world football, and is tipped to win this year’s Ballon d’Or after already beating Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to the latest UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award.
Liverpool didn’t appear to struggle too much to complete his signing, with Manchester City the only other team reported as interested.
They might have had more competition though, had former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho been a bit more savvy.
The Independent report the Portuguese actually said no to bidding for the superstar before he pitched up at Anfield – he then realised how badly he needed a centre-half some months later.
Liverpool fans will surely take great satisfaction from Mourinho’s blunder.
van Dijk has been imperious, and the idea that a former United manager declined the chance to pursue him – given what he has now become – must be very sweet indeed.
The Red Devils now have Harry Maguire in their ranks, and it will be interesting to see how he – the only defender more expensive than van Dijk – gets on at Old Trafford under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.