Jamie Carragher has named Sami Hyypia as Liverpool’s best signing of the Premier League era because of the longevity and impact of the defender.
Countless players could enter the frame for the accolade, including Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez.
But speaking on Monday Night Football, Carragher put forward his own top five candidates.
Unsurprisingly, the list featured Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson and Virgil van Dijk, three players brought in by Jurgen Klopp who have led the current Reds team to Champions League and Premier League glory.
Indeed, the fact that they are some of the first players to lift the top-flight trophy in Liverpool’s history puts them in firm contention.
However, Carragher picked 1999 signing Hyypia as his best signing. The Finland-born centre-back arrived at Anfield under the tutelage of the late Gerard Houllier.
“Sami is right at the top for me,” Carragher said. “When I think of where Liverpool were in 1999, they were a team finishing in sixth and seventh.
“They were thought of as a weak team and got bullied. Sami came in, played for ten years and was never injured.
“Liverpool went from being known as a soft touch to a team who were mentally and physically very strong, and he was a massive part of that.
“The success we had over the next ten years with Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez was built on defence and solidity, and that started with Hyypia’s signing.
So when you consider the price tag, never being injured, the ten years service he gave and the trophies he won, I put Sami as No.1.”
Hyypia played an instrumental role as Liverpool won a European and domestic treble in the 2001/02 season. He also featured as the Reds won the Champions League in 2005.
However, Carragher then made sure to differentiate between Hyypia’s impact and Van Dijk’s role on Klopp’s team.
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“Sami’s not a better player than Virgil van Dijk, but Van Dijk was a world record transfer fee for a defender – you’re expecting that impact,” the pundit added.
“No one had heard of Sami Hyypia. The impact he had was instrumental.”
Gary Neville disagreed. He said: “I’d have Gini Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane in before some of those that you had.”
Liverpool have felt the impact of Van Dijk’s absence this season through a serious knee injury.