Liverpool's move for Georginio Wijnaldum has moved so quickly, fans could be forgiven for assuming it was a spontaneous decision from Jurgen Klopp to bid £25million.
Reports of interest in the Newcastle United star only started to emerge this time last week, but it appears as though a deal could be announced before the weekend is out. The latest claim is that he'll be undergoing a medical at Melwood on Friday.
However, according to Liverpool cult hero Dirk Kuyt, interest in Wijnaldum goes back longer than last week. In fact, it goes back longer than many of us would have ever imagined.
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Kuyt spent six years at Anfield between 2006-2012 and he has claimed that Wijnaldum's name was being bandied around the club back then. At that time, the 25-year-old was an exciting prospect at Feyenoord but Liverpool scouts already knew he would go on to be a big star.
Kuyt told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf: “A wonderful transfer for Gini. The best compliment for him was that his name in my time at Liverpool buzzed inside the club.
“He was watched by the scouts in his youth days at Feyenoord as a very great talent. When I played for Liverpool, I heard them frequently say that he would be a wonderful asset one day.
“He eventually ended up at PSV and Newcastle, before moving to Anfield. He is now at a top club in England and he’ll be at home. He is not only a good player, but also a player with the lungs of a horse.”
While the transfer market has certainly inflated this summer, the deal for Wijnaldum represents serious money for the Merseyside club. Indeed, the £25m fee will be the fifth biggest signing in their history with Andy Carroll still leading the way after his £35m move from the Magpies.
Sadio Mane became the club's third most expensive player after his £30m move from Southampton earlier this summer and Liverpool's total spending for the summer is set to hit the £70m mark when Wijnaldum arrives.
Despite the high price, former defender Jamie Carragher expressed his excitement at seeing the attacking midfielder in a Liverpool shirt but had no idea what position Klopp would utilise him in.
“That is the problem – because he is so good, he can play everywhere and do well,” he said, per the Liverpool Echo.
“We were thinking about where to play him the other day, and we said: ‘His best position could be behind the striker'. But because he is doing well he can play on the right, he can play on the left.
“And even then I was talking to him about when he was playing against Costa Rica (for the Netherlands) in the World Cup in Brazil in a deeper position, and he can play there too because he is so good.”
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