Even Andy Robertson was somewhat surprised by his transfer to Liverpool.
“It feels a wee bit surreal,” he told the club’s official website once the move had been completed.
“I just want to prove to people that I can do it at this level, and hopefully I manage to do that this season and go on to do good things for this club.”
It was a humble start for a humble player.
At a time when transfers were making waves on social media – who can forget ‘announce Salah’? – the arrival of Robertson felt somewhat unremarkable.
But that could not be further from the truth.
After all, upsetting the odds is what Robertson is all about. He had to get to Anfield the hard way.
Robertson’s story has been widely told. Brought in from relegated Hull City, only years earlier he’d been working in a call centre while playing for Scottish third division outfit Queens Park.
So it wasn’t surprising that his signing did not exactly get pulses racing among Liverpool fans.
The defender admitted as much himself this week when reflecting on his move to Anfield.
“Obviously the faith to sign me, first and foremost, from a relegated club, which probably I don’t think I got many Liverpool fans excited about my signing when people like Mo and Ox were getting signed at the same time,” he said.
Three years on and Robertson is arguably the most satisfying signing made during the Klopp era.
He is the man that not only underlines the effect the German can have on the careers of his players, but also the shrewd nature of Michael Edwards and his recruitment team.
When they work in tandem, there’s nobody quite as good in world football at signing and improving players.
After all, at the time of Robertson’s arrival the Scot was expected to play second fiddle to Alberto Moreno and came after Liverpool’s efforts to sign Ryan Sessegnon from Fulham had failed.
Edwards and his staff cared little for where a footballer came from or who he played for. If the numbers were right then Liverpool would be interested.
Ian Graham was brought to Anfield by Edwards in 2012 and played a key role in identifying Robertson as the right candidate to bolster the options at left-back.
The Welshman – who has a PHD in theoretical physics – explained how data captured by Liverpool made Robertson’s potential clear to Edwards and his team.
“It’s important to mention that signing a player is a multi-disciplinary exercise,” he said.
“You’ve got the traditional methods of scouting and newer methods of video scouting and the manager has to be on board and enthusiastic about a player.
“My role is the data analysis of analysing football, which is the newer side and the sorts of players that I really like are players who shine through in the data but don’t naturally shine through for your typical…