After the Roman Abramovich era was kicked off in 2003 with a stunning but unsuccessful bid for Alessandro Nesta, it was Glen Johnson who would be the first face through the door.
Signed from West Ham as a teenager, the defender would remain at the club until 2007 after a few mixed seasons at the club.
In his third campaign he was barely used, his second under Jose Mourinho, and sent out on loan to Portsmouth a year later,
Despite the medals he won and superb opportunity afforded to him, Johnson freely admits his memories are not always good, speaking to The Mail of a frustrating relationship with The Special One.
He revealed how his trust of the manager dwindled at what he describes as broken promises over team selection, claiming he was not given a fair chance to succeed.
Now a Liverpool regular, the full-back claims such an occurrence would never happen under current boss Brendan Rodgers.
"Brendan wouldn’t do that. He’s shown that if you’re good enough you’re old enough and you’ll play in the big games if you deserve to. So in terms of man-management, Brendan is definitely better.
"Mourinho is one of the best in the world and I would never say he’s not because of what happened between us. But Brendan is different to Jose, he has his own mentality and is definitely one of the best."
The words from Johnson appear well-meant, although a cynic may suggest the defender wants a new contract at Liverpool and is buttering up his manager with his current deal set to expire in June 2015.
Mourinho has however always been a spiky character, seen in interviews and press conferences, and even at Chelsea it appears he had his favourites.
With Johnson not one of his signings, and Mourinho bringing in Paulo Ferreira from Porto upon arrival, his days as a regular were numbered from the very start irrespective of his first season under Claudio Ranieri.
It was a decision which Mourinho will have felt justified. At that point Johnson was yet to even win an England cap, and didn't do so until 2008, while Ferreira was a full Portuguese international who he worked with at Porto and had helped him win the Champions League. Yet Johnson's point is that none of that should have mattered, and performances should have.
As for his comments on Rodgers' man-management, the only publicly disgruntled player he had was Stewart Downing, who expressed his bemusement at being sold to West Ham as suddenly as he was last summer, although many fans felt it hadn't come soon enough.
Johnson's comments on their styles are his opinion, honestly held, based on his experiences - but many a Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid player will stand Mourinho's corner, for his own man-management style and ability to cajole players into their best form has helped him win trophies in all four countries in which he has managed.
Yet it is his abrasive personality which has seen him fail to settle at any club. Is it conceivable that in 10 years time Rodgers will be in his fourth different management spell? While fans of his former clubs Swansea, Watford and Reading may have mixed views - Johnson is hinting at a loyalty that gives Liverpool supporters reason to feel confident they have the type of manager who will want to stick around for a very long time.
image: © Bernard C