Liverpool put together a long list of transfer targets for their defence before eventually signing Virgil van Dijk from Southampton last January.
According to this detailed report from the Times, the Reds narrowed down their search to four players, with Van Dijk their priority option.
Close behind him, however, were some big names in Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng, and Aymeric Laporte, who was at Athletic Bilbao at the time but who has since joined Manchester City.
Liverpool fans will probably feel they really did get the best name on that list, with Van Dijk proving to be a world class addition since his switch to Anfield.
While the Netherlands international has been a classy and reliable performer on the pitch, he’s also brought a real winning mentality to a squad that had previously entertained but often choked when it mattered under Jurgen Klopp.
LFC are now a far more solid outfit, however, sitting four points clear at the top of the Premier League with the best defensive record in the top flight.
Van Dijk has been a huge part of that improvement, and it’s hard to imagine even quality players like Koulibaly and Laporte making that kind of impact.