Brendan Rodgers has yet again spoken about his failed transfer attempts while at Liverpool.
It’s no secret that our former manager didn’t like the club’s set-up regarding scouting and player purchase, where all potential buys would have to get an ‘Ok’ from the transfer committee.
On a number of occasions, Liverpool signed players Rodgers didn’t want, like Mario Balotelli, while ignoring some of his requests – like superb centre-back Virgil Van Dijk – who now plies his trade at Southampton.
“It’s about where the player is at, at the time of their ability,” Rodgers told the Evening Times.
“Virgil van Dijk could have jumped from Celtic to a Liverpool. Some clubs will want to see the players tested at certain arenas first.
“But if there is enough belief in the player then that counts. The key for scouting is trying to predict when the player is peaking.
“You could see with Van Dijk that he was quick, strong, good on the ball and decent in the air.
“So what more do you need to see? You could see him playing international football and, okay, clubs may want to see him in Champions League.
“Wanyama left and then made the jump but he was a good player at Celtic, showing up well in the Champions League.
“There is maybe an issue with scouts.
“When I was at Liverpool I asked about van Dijk and he was at Groningen and then at Celtic. But I was told he wouldn’t be for us at the time.”
It would have been fantastic to have signed the Dutch centre-back, who’d improve our backline tenfold. The 25-year-old was signed by Southampton though and any potential suitor will have to pay well over £30m to snare him.
And it’s not like Rodgers always got it right in the transfer market. He infamously tried to swap current skipper Jordan Henderson with Fulham’s Clint Dempsey, which would have been an outrageously poor piece of business!
There’s a chance that Van Dijk may end up at Liverpool one day, such is our penchant for Southampton’s best players. Sadio Mane, Nathaniel Clyne, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren are all former Saints and automatic starters under Jurgen Klopp.