Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has paid tribute to the club’s players who have secured their place in back-to-back Champions League finals – and has named the three men who have really caught his eye this season.
The Reds go head to head with Tottenham in Madrid on Saturday night for the right to be crowned champions of Europe – you can read our comprehensive guide to the Champions League final right here.
And Werner believes shrewd recruitment has been key to Liverpool’s sustained rise. The Reds made Virgil van Dijk the most expensive defender on the planet but the PFA Players’ Player of the Year has proved to be worth every penny.
“It’s a great compliment to the whole organisation,” Werner exclusively told the Liverpool Echo.
“These players were identified by Michael Edwards, Barry Hunter and Dave Fallows and their team.
“I can’t say enough good things about Virgil van Dijk. His fellow professionals voted him as the best player in the league.
“You can never be 100% sure when you sign a player whether he’s going to live up to your expectations. But he has really anchored the squad.
“One important thing that I know our recruitment team look at when considering potential signings is the character and heart of these players. Virgil is just an outstanding human being and a leader.”
Werner was also quick to praise two other men who he feels have enjoyed stellar seasons.
“That doesn’t take away from the pride we have in Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane sharing the Golden Boot. They have exceeded expectations again,” he added. “Mo had a wonderful year after his extraordinary first year with us.”
Werner picks out extraordinary Joel Matip
Werner wasn’t finished there; the Reds chairman also had words of praise for several other first-teamers, though his comments over Joel Matip may cause a chuckle or two….
“You could go right through the squad because it’s been such a team effort. The contributions of players like Andy Robertson, James Milner, Jordan Henderson…. the extraordinary play of Joel Matip.
“It’s been a joy to watch Jurgen’s brand of attacking football. It’s been a pleasure as a fan to enjoy what’s been an historic season.”
Get the latest personalised Reds products on our new TEAMtalk Liverpool shop!