We were always told that it was Virgil van Dijk or bust for Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp…
In summer 2017, we didn’t sign a centre-back and it initially looked like an awful decision, with Liverpool beginning the 2017/18 campaign in horrible defensive fashion.
Eventually, we held out until January and broke the world record transfer fee for a centre-back by signing van Dijk for £75m – despite having been reported to the Premier League by Southampton for illegally approaching him six months earlier.
But if we hadn’t have been able to secure the Dutchman, we would have gone after Aymeric Laporte, according to respected correspondent Paul Joyce in the Times.
“Ironically, Laporte was Liverpool’s second choice if Van Dijk had remained out of reach,” Joyce writes, after claiming Manchester City initially turned down VVD due to price-tag before paying just £13m less for the young Frenchman…
There’s no doubt that Laporte is a terrific player, but he’s not in van Dijk’s league.
For the money we paid, van Dijk is undeniably a much better deal and there’s no City fans who wouldn’t take our best player this season in a heartbeat.
It’s interesting though that our initial longing for van Dijk wasn’t as blind as we originally perceived and that we would have made an attempt for Laporte had he not been available.