Jamie Carragher has hailed fellow former Liverpool defender Sami Hyypia as the club’s greatest Premier League signing ahead of title winners Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk, speaking on Sky Sports Monday Night Football. For younger Liverpool fans, let’s take a closer look at Sami Hyypia.
Hyypia joined Liverpool from Dutch side Willem II in 1999 for £2.6 million (Sky Sports). His price tag appears incredibly modest considering the career he went on to have in England.
The Finland international made 464 appearances during a decade of service for Liverpool, with 405 of those games spent alongside Carragher at centre-back.
Hyypia was vital to his side’s silverware success between 2001 and 2006.
Liverpool lifted 13 trophies during that period, with Hyypia at the heart of the defence. The tropies included two FA Cups and League Cups, a UEFA Cup and, the most coveted prize in domestic football, the Champions League.
However, Hyypia’s signing raised a few eyebrows at the time. He had only previously played in Finland and the Netherlands.
And that unknown quantity is what makes him the best pound-for-pound transfer Liverpool have made, according to Carragher.
The pundit said: “(Hyypia) played for the club for ten years. He was never injured.
“Liverpool went from being a soft touch into a team that was mentally and physically very strong. He was a massive part of that.”
And Carragher says his defensive partnership with Hyypia was a major part of Liverpool’s success at the time.
He said: “The success we had over the next ten years with Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez was built on being defensive.
“It wasn’t about being an exciting team going forward. It was built on solidity – and that started with his signing.”
Carragher counted the reasons why he made Hyypia his top pick.
“One the price tag, never being injured, the ten years’ service and the trophies he was a major part of.
“Sami’s not a better player than Van Dijk. But Van Dijk was a world record fee so you’d expect that impact.
“Sami Hyypia came in, nobody had heard of him or seen him play.”
Sami over Salah and Suarez
As well as Salah and Van Dijk, some Liverpool fans may place Andy Robertson as their best signing.
All three are huge influences when fit but Robertson, who cost just £10 million (Sky Sports) from Hull City, is arguably the bargain of a generation.
Luis Suarez also made Carragher’s list thanks to his incredible solo season in 2013/14. But even he couldn’t shift Hyypia from top spot.
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