Liverpool stalwart Virgil van Dijk signed for Southampton in the summer of 2015, but before he did so he was subject of interest from Steve Bruce’s Hull City.
But the current Newcastle manager admits that he doesn’t think the Tigers were within a chance to sign the big Dutchman – the Saints were able to pick up the centre half for £13millon.
“I had dinner with Kenny Dalglish and the owner of Celtic, Dermot Desmond, in Barbados – I’m name-dropping now – and the owner of Celtic was waxing lyrical about the best players he’s had,” Brucie is quoted as saying by the Chronicle.
“He was saying, ‘[Herink] Larsson is definitely, definitely the best player that I’ve seen play for Celtic in my ownership’ and what he said is, ‘What I can’t understand is, nobody has gone for van Dijk’.
“I thought, ‘That’s interesting, he’s seen a lot of football over the last 12 years’ so I went and we tried. I tried to get him before he went to Southampton.”
Virgil would go on to sign for Liverpool a few years later for a record-breaking free, and help the Reds march to two Champions League finals in two season.
It sounds like the Newcastle manager had an eye for talent as he was responsible for Andy Robertson joining Hull in 2014, and we all know how life in England has ended up for the Scot.
Imagine how different life could have been at Anfield if van Dijk joined Robbo at Hull – they likely wouldn’t have got relegated, and our back line could look very different now – we mightn’t have won the Champions League in 2019.