Dietmar Hamann thinks Liverpool have not signed a better player in the last 15 years than Sami Hyypia, haling him as a ‘fantastic’ player and person.

Hyypia, who currently manages the German outfit Bayer Leverkusen, arrived at Anfield in 1999 for a mere £2.5 million from the Dutch side, Willem II Tilburg.

The former Finland International became an immediate hit at Liverpool, winning a stack of trophies with the Merseyside club during his ten year-spell in the Premier League.

Standing tall at six feet five inches, the 39-year-old was once considered as the strikers’ nightmare and had earned himself a reputation for his effective aerial battles and strong headers.

And though the Reds have been mesmerized by the likes of Fernando Torres, Luis Suarez, Xabi Alonso and many others, it is the towering defender which Hamann rates as the best Liverpool signing over the past 15 years.

Hamann, who played alongside Hyypia for almost seven years, praised his overall contribution towards the team, but underscored that winning the headers was his specialty.

He told the club’s official website: “He is Liverpool’s best signing of the last 15 years.

“Heading was obviously a big aspect of his game, but at the same time, his positioning, technique and the way he passed the ball, was great. A fantastic player and fantastic person as well.”

Another former Liverpool defender, Gary Gillespie seconded Hamann’s opinion of Hyypia.

He said: “I‘ve been fortunate to play alongside Mark Lawrenson and Alan Hansen, two of the very best, but I’d put Sami up there alongside them.”

Hyypia, who retired as Bayer Leverkusen player, made a staggering 464 appearances for Liverpool, before making a switch to the Bundesliga in 2009.

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