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Liverpool’s 200 IQ transfer policy gave them the platform for greatness

As Liverpool fans party the night and day away, rival fans are desperately trying to think of ways to undermine their title win.

In recent years, it has been easy for those who are annoyed by the happiness to others to diminish the champions.

All one needs to do to land a blow on Man City or Chelsea is post a photo of an oil barrel.

In fact, Leicester may be the only champions in recent memory not to have been accused of ‘buying the league’.


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The long wait is over

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The long wait is over

Some fans – most with Everton or Man United cover photos – are rallying against the idea that Liverpool’s victory is somehow purer, citing hundreds of millions spent on a world-class squad.

However, the new champions’ recruitment has been much smarter and more complex than just buying a host of recognised superstars.

The cynical view of Virgil van Dijk is that he’s the most expensive defender of all time and so he’s superiority is almost a minimum requirement.

The Dutchman was highly rated while at Southampton but you’d be revising history if you claim everyone thought he was soon to become the best centre-back in the world, and would finish second only to Lionel Messi in the Ballon d’Or voting.

You will able to find plenty of tweets (at least those not already deleted) from January 2018 of fans who thought Liverpool were stupid to pay £75million for Van Dijk.

It was not like they signed Sergio Ramos, Van Dijk’s honours before moving to Anfield consisted of two Scottish Premierships and an accompanying League Cup from his time with Celtic.

It’s easy for sceptics to say in hindsight, ‘they just spent loads on a world-class defender’ but Liverpool deserve credit for recognising the incredible potential.

Imperious

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Imperious

The same goes for Andrew Robertson, who was picked up from Hull for £8million after the Tigers were relegated to the Championship in 2017.

Again, would anyone have predicted the big-hearted Scottish left-back from Hull would rapidly become one of the best players in his position on a global scale?

Only those in power at Liverpool saw such a possibility.

Robertson wasn’t even the first player the club swooped from a freshly-relegated rival.

In 2016, they signed Gini Wijnaldum from Newcastle and tasked him with a new role.

Like many players under Klopp’s tutelage, the Dutchman steadily improved to the point he was regularly impacting decisive games — the Champions League semi-final second leg against Barcelona being the prime example.

Wijnaldum was one of six Liverpool players shortlisted for the most recent Ballon d’Or.

Liverpool repeated this trick for a third time by signing Xherdan Shaqiri from Stoke after he was relegated with the Potters.

The Swiss international may not have contributed as much as Robertson or Wijnaldum but it’s fair to say the ploy of raiding relegated teams has worked out rather well.

Unforgettable

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Unforgettable

Joe Gomez was poached from Charlton back in 2015 after just 24 first team appearances, a gamble on a young talent that has paid off handsomely this season.

In contrast, James Milner was an experienced campaigner when he was signed on a free after Man City deemed him surplus to requirements.

Five years later he’s even more experienced and has undoubtedly facilitated the growth of Liverpool with is adaptability and professionalism.

Perhaps some may undervalue his contribution, but not Klopp, not his team-mates.

Some Arsenal fans mourned the loss of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain but many thought they had sold Liverpool a dud for a scandalous price.

The Englishman has suffered injuries but rediscovered his purpose as a footballer.

In his last days at Arsenal, he appeared a directionless bits-and-pieces player.

He could have easily found himself twiddling his thumbs on Merseyside but he’s adopted the culture to undergo a spiritual rehabilitation of sorts.

An expensive bargain

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An expensive bargain

Even the spotlight-hogging front three are examples exceptional recruitment.

Although Liverpool’s board famously questioned whether the £29million spent on Roberto Firmino in 2015 was a wise move, before the Brazilian morphed into a unique variety of centre-forward who prioritised pressing and link-up above scoring goals — a perfect instrument for Klopp’s ‘heavy metal football’.

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah were bought for a combined total of £69million.

That’s a lot of money but how much are they worth now, £200million?

The latter was signed from Roma but had history in the Premier League in the form of an underwhelming spell with Chelsea.

The Egyptian also had a reputation as someone who squanders chances.

Cue a record-breaking 32-goal league campaign in his first season with Liverpool.

Can he make it three Golden Boots in a row?

REUTERS
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Can he make it three Golden Boots in a row?

Yes, Liverpool have spent lots of money, but they have proved their brilliance in the boardroom as well as on the pitch.

Let’s not forget, in the midst of all this they sold Philippe Coutinho, who many thought was their best player, to Barcelona for an ungodly fee.

They recouped £120million from the departures of Danny Ings, Dominic Solanke, Mamadou Sakho, Christian Benteke, Jordon Ibe and Danny Ward. £120million!

If you’re one of those rival fans who wants to point to the balance sheets and transfer summaries, all you’ll do is highlight another aspect in which Liverpool are streets ahead.

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