Liverpool were interested in signing Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles before they obliterated their transfer record to bring Virgil van Dijk to Anfield, according to Goal, with scouts at Anfield feeling that the Englishman has the potential to develop into a top-class centre-half.
With Southampton standing firm and publicly declaring their intention to keep a towering Dutchman at St Mary’s, it was far from certain at the time that Liverpool would succeed in signing a man who was right at the top of Jurgen Klopp’s wish list.
According to Goal, the Reds had a number of alternatives lined up if a bid for Van Dijk failed to succeed with Lascelles one of the back-up options in their sights.
The former Nottingham Forest starlet was included on Liverpool’s ‘B List’ alongside Dortmund powerhouse Manuel Akanji and Real Madrid prodigy Eder Militao (below) with Lascelles considered to be a young, promising defender with the potential to reach the very top in the right environment.
Fortunately for Newcastle, Liverpool finally convinced Southampton to part with Van Dijk to the tune of £75 million. These days, Lascelles is an established Premier League defender and the influential captain of a Magpies team who are now fighting to secure their survival under Steve Bruce.
Lascelles was on the losing side as Newcastle were beaten 3-1 by a Sadio Mane inspired Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday but the 25-year-old returned from Anfield with his reputation intact after a fine display at centre-half.
Yet a performance full of class and character will not have come as a surprise to the Liverpool scouts who tipped Lascelles for the top all those months ago.
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