Whatever is said about his £75million price tag, Liverpool have pulled off a massive coup by signing Virgil van Dijk.
With Naby Keita also set to arrive in the summer, the board are backing Jurgen Klopp all the way as he looks to iron out the Reds' frailties in the defence and central midfield.
The Dutchman could make his debut in the FA Cup third round Merseyside derby, and what better opportunity to prove himself as the piece that the Reds have been missing.
With the deal having collapsed in the summer, Liverpool will be breathing a massive sigh of relief - as will the rest of the Premier League - that VVD has stayed out of the clutches of Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola also had an eye on the centre-back, due to the fact that skipper Vincent Kompany has only played 31 league games in nearly three years.
Perhaps that was why Liverpool felt they couldn't wait until the January window officially opened before making their move.
In fact, according to the Liverpool Echo, they were so concerned about City's interest that they undertook special measures to ensure they beat the league-leaders to the 26-year-old.
The newspaper suggest that the club rushed a medical team down to the south coast on Wednesday morning so that they would be ready for the moment when a fee was agreed.
Wrapping up the deal
The former Celtic man's wages of around £180,000 per week had already been decided, so all that was left was for a medical to be completed.
That left City with no opportunity to hijack the transfer, even though it appears Liverpool was Van Dijk's preferred destination anyway.
Then there was the matter of Southampton. Mauricio Pellegrino hinted a few weeks ago that he didn't want players who weren't fully committed to the Saints, so it's little surprise they've accepted the bid.
Had City also made an offer, though, it could have sparked a bidding war and Liverpool could have potentially been blown out of the water.
Van Dijk will now follow Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane, Dejan Lovren, and Nathaniel Clyne on the well-trodden path from St Mary's to Anfield, while City might wish that they'd acted faster.
How much will Van Dijk improve Liverpool? Have your say in the comments.
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