Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has undoubtedly helped transform the Reds, with the impact he has had on the squad over the last few years.
It now seems so long ago that we had a defence that was as water-tight a sieve, and since the Dutchman’s arrival we’ve championed Europe, the world and now England.
But van Dijk’s signing wasn’t straight-forward – the centre-half garnered interest from some of the Premier League’s most lucrative clubs, including Manchester City and Chelsea.
“I had the chance to go to Chelsea and City,” he’s quoted as saying by the Daily Mail. But on December 27 2017, it was confirmed big Virg would sign for Liverpool.
“When you compare the clubs, you look at the history, the town, the current squad, their plans for the near future, but the most important thing you look at is the manager.
“And Jurgen Klopp is an important reason why I chose Liverpool. Klopp has something special. Is it his energy? Is it his overall image?
“I sometimes sit and think about what he does and what he has more than others. I think it is his man-management. These days that is more important than anything in football.
“Klopp gives you this great feeling. He is genuinely happy when you walk into the club in the morning. It may sound daft, but that really inspires you as a player.”
When van Dijk finally linked up with the Liverpool squad, it was clear that he was going to be our defensive stalwart for as long as we have him.
Since his arrival three years ago, we’ve won the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup and now the elusive Premier League title.
There were questions marks over Virgil’s head when he rocked up at Anfield with a £75million price tag, but he’s gone on to more than prove his worth.