Virgil van Dijk has been a game-changing player for the Reds, of that there can be no doubt whatsoever.
When the club approached Southampton unsuccessfully in the summer of 2017, however, while Van Dijk was the only target in the end, there were three other players who were considered on the shortlist.
According to Goal, Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte was on the list but was considered too expensive, while City’s interest also put the Reds off. Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng, meanwhile, was discounted because of his age.
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Napoli’s Kalidou Kalibaly was also on the list and he was the most likely back-up option had the deal for Van Dijk fallen through because the other two options had been ruled out by this point.
Those four players were termed the ‘slam dunk’ players by Jurgen Klopp, while Manuel Akanji, Eder Militao and Jamaal Lascelles were on another list of B-class options.
The Reds only wanted to sign a player who would be a significant improvement on the options who were already at the club and the transfer team certainly made the right call in the end.