Belgium international Divock Origi has expressed his surprise at the level of research Liverpool had conducted on him before finalising his acquisition from Ligue 1 club Lille.
Liverpool confirmed the signing of Origi in the final week of July after the teenager had impressed immensely at the World Cup. However, the interest of Liverpool went far deeper than just his performances in Brazil.
Brendan Rodgers was prepared to leave nothing to chance in his pursuit of Origi, and ensured in-depth analysis was carried out - including watching the player in action aged just 15 - before an approach was sanctioned.
The full extent of this research was detailed to Origi on his arrival at Anfield, and the 19-year-old striker concedes that he was taken aback by the amount of attention Liverpool had paid to him.
“Liverpool followed me for a long time,” Origi told L'Equipe.
“When I arrived in the offices there, they showed me cassettes of me in the Under 15s.
"Everyone knew me. I couldn't believe it.”
Origi, who signed for £10 million, will not be afforded the opportunity to begin his Liverpool career in earnest for another 12 months, with the decision taken to allow the player to rejoin former employers Lille on loan.
Lille will continue to have Origi among their number for the duration of the 2014-15 season, and the hope is that more guaranteed game time in France will allow the youngster chance to flourish before his eventual move to Merseyside.
Origi has already been offered plenty of encouragement regarding his long-term Liverpool prospects and, as he explains, was told by captain Steven Gerrard that he is unfortunate to not already be in the first-team squad.
“When I arrived, I was impressed. Steven Gerrard told me it was a shame that I wouldn't be there straight away as everyone was waiting impatiently for me,” Origi added.
“That means something.”
Watch: The latest Liverpool transfer news
Liverpool could have understandably added Origi to their senior set-up immediately given the departure of Luis Suarez, but the fact that they have not would suggest another striker will be acquired.
With Suarez now gone, Liverpool now have only two central forwards in Daniel Sturridge and Rickie Lambert, and will surely need at least another to deal with the rigours of a return to European competition.
Liverpool had appeared set to complete the signing of Loic Remy with a fee having been agreed, but the transfer fell through after the Queens Park Rangers striker failed his extensive medical assessment.
Ezequiel Lavezzi has since been linked and, although more adept at operating from a wide attacking role, could provide Liverpool with the cover the require down the centre if needed.
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