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Virgil van Dijk scores a brace for Liverpool against Watford

Five of the best players to swap Southampton for Liverpool

Liverpool’s scouting network must enjoy their time on the South Coast, with a whole host of players having swapped Southampton for Merseyside in recent years.

A move from St Mary’s to Anfield has been a well-trodden path in the Premier League era, but which stars have been the biggest success stories since making the switch?

Here are five of the best players to swap Southampton for Liverpool

Peter Crouch

The ever-popular former England forward made the move back in 2005, having impressed by scoring 12 Premier League goals in Southampton’s ultimately unsuccessful battle to avoid relegation to the second tier.

Rafael Benitez had identified the towering target man as a useful addition as he looked to strengthen his Liverpool side, who were coming off Champions League success after beating AC Milan in Istanbul.

Crouch’s endured a difficult start to life at the European champions, failing to score in his first 19 appearances, but soon became a popular figure at the club.

Liverpool would win the FA Cup in his first season at Anfield, beating West Ham on penalties in Cardiff, with Crouch scoring 13 times in his first campaign.

A couple of stunning overhead kicks and a perfect hat-trick against Arsenal were Reds highlights, Crouch spending three seasons at the club and scoring 42 goals in 134 appearances before joining Portsmouth in 2008.

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Adam Lallana

One of three Southampton players to make the move in the summer of 2014, Lallana joined Liverpool in a £25m deal after being named in the PFA Team of the Year the previous season.

A fine technical player with work-rate to match, the England midfielder has been an important part of the Liverpool squad over the past five seasons.

Adapting quickly to Jurgen Klopp’s ‘gegenpressing’ style following the German’s arrival as manager, Lallana’s energy and silky dribbling made him a favourite, though injuries have hampered his ability to become a key figure.

Injury problems have restricted his influence over the past two seasons, though Champions League and UEFA Super Cup success has come following a series of near-misses including League Cup and Europa League final defeats.

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Dejan Lovren

Much-maligned in the early part of his Liverpool career, the Croatian defender has since developed into a decent defender over the course of his five-year Anfield career.

Self-proclaiming himself as the ‘world’s best‘ was perhaps ill-advised, though he been largely reliable in recent seasons after an error-prone start on Merseyside following his £20m in 2014.

A late, late Anfield winner in a dramatic comeback win over Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League will live long in the memory, though the centre-backs days look numbered having fallen behind Joel Matip and Joe Gomez in the pecking order.

Perhaps not the dominant defender Liverpool had hoped for on arrival, he has proven to be a solid addition since moving from the South Coast five years ago.

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Sadio Mane

Many questioned Liverpool’s decision to spend £34m to bring the Senegal international to Merseyside in 2016, though those doubts are no longer following Mane’s impact at the club.

A stunning debut goal at Arsenal was a sign of things to come, with Mane establishing himself as one of the Premier League’s best-attacking options under Jurgen Klopp.

He won the club’s Player of the Year in his first season, being named in the PFA Team of the Year after scoring 13 league goals and helping Liverpool to a top-four finish.

The following season he helped Liverpool to the Champions League final, scoring in defeat to Real Madrid, before delivering the best season of his career last term.

A tally of 22 Premier League goals earned Mane a share of the Golden Boot, whilst he helped Liverpool to become champions of Europe for a sixth time after Champions League success over Tottenham in June.

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Virgil van Dijk

Another fee many doubted, Liverpool made Virgil van Dijk the world’s most expensive defender after securing his signing for £75m from Southampton in January 2018.

The protracted transfer-saga caused tension between the two sides, but Liverpool would eventually get their man and he would go on to make a huge impression at Anfield.

The Dutch defender helped to stabilise a vulnerable defence, whilst a Merseyside derby winner on his debut instantly endeared him to the club’s support.

His first full season would see a host of individual accolades come his way, Van Dijk’s imperious performances seeing him become the first defender in over a decade to win the PFA Player’s Player of the Year award.

Champions League glory would follow in Madrid, Van Dijk named as Man of the Match following Liverpool’s 2-0 final victory over Tottenham in Madrid.

Now recognised as arguably the world’s best central defender, Van Dijk will play a major role as Liverpool bid for further success in the coming seasons.

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