When Gerard Houllier invested £3m in 26 year old Sami Hyypia in 1999 no one could have thought the Willem II player would have had half the impact he did on the Merseyside outfit and now almost ten years on he is of to the Bundesliga on a two year deal at Bayer Leverkusen, perhaps Rafa should have offered to keep him at Anfield?
The relationship between Rafa and the solid centre back had suffered a great deal after the gaffer decided not to name the Finnish international in his Champions League squad, clearly a decision that surprised many, as well as the 35 year old who had been persuaded not to leave last summer. Given that injury prone Daniel Agger has managed less than 50 Premier League starts in three and half years perhaps the Spanish manager should have done more to keep Hyypia at the side as he is clearly still able to fill in admirably, a point proven when he filled in at the back when the Scousers went to Old Trafford and came back with a resounding victory.
Whatever the circumstances i think every Liverpool fan will raise a glass to toast their former favourite and one time captain and to be honest it was a deal Hyypia couldn’t turn down as Rafa was clearly not considering giving him anything substantial in the way of a longer term contract.
Sami managed to compile an incredible 453 starts in a Reds jersey and of course helped the club to a slew of triumphs including the 2005 Champions League win, during which he was one of only three players to complete all 15 matches in that European campaign, from that August night in Graz all the way to the fantastic comeback in Istanbul in late May.
Good luck for the future and thanks for the memories. What will be Liverpool fans abiding memories of the lanky centre back?