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Everything's the Worst: Bending the Knee

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The Virgil van Dijk affair has left bruises that may be healed over the course of the summer. Or not.

Southampton v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Do not expect anything more than a few random thoughts and musings collected into a few exasperated paragraphs. Liverpool Football Club. Liverpool FC. Liverpool. I think I'm drowning and asphyxiated. I want break this spell that you've created. You're something beautiful, a contradiction of sorts. You will probably be the death of me, and despite my protestations, I really don't mind.

One minute you're imagining defending the whole Liverpool Country with Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah beside you, beckoning more warriors to come to your aid, and suddenly, you find yourself at the mercy of reality. Southampton may have been Liverpool's very own customised Vitesse Arnhem in Premier League clothing, but the tool of salvation soon became one of destruction. And so it came to pass that 7 June 2017 may not be a date that you remember in the years to come, but it will have a story that you will remember.

There is something extremely instructive and irksome in Southampton's complete repudiation of a trusted financial partner, and the events which preceded the day when Liverpool were forced to bend the knee suggested that a fruitful partnership would earnestly continue as normal. With all due respect to Southampton, there are clubs that should only be allowed to deal with Meresyside's finest in a finite number of ways. Frustrating us on the pitch, buying players whose services we no longer require, and proving to be rich source of the players they have come to cherish to be specifically polished for our needs. Arrogant? Yes. True? Indubitably.

In light of the occurrences of the past few days, remaining sanguine about the club's prospects this summer may be dangerous. The unyielding nature of hope may be a rotten form of naivety designed to cloak one from the harsh seasons of breathing; perhaps the end of the summer transfer window will precipitate psychological self-immolation among the hopeful. However, that can be all avoided by simply expecting the worst. Do not believe. Do not dream. Do not dare click on a link with unbecoming giddiness.

Three weeks will have passed this Sunday since the end of the season when Liverpool secured a place in the top four at Arsenal's expense. Before and since then, much has been written about what Liverpool will do this summer—all at the behest and design of the club. Julian Brandt? Not coming. Mahmoud Dahoud? Gone elsewhere, but according to reports, we didn't want him anyway. Christian Pulisic? Staying. Julian Draxler? Gone elsewhere, but were we even in the running? Ryan Sessgenon? Going elsewhere. Mohamed Salah? Stalling. Naby Keïta? Nabbing nothing. Virgil van Dijk? We demand emotional compensation.

These names weren't conjured up by jumpy journalists eager to throw any name out there for Liverpool fans to nibble in understandable desperation; these names were part of Liverpool's strategy to satisfy the plans and ambitions of Jürgen Klopp. Maybe he was involved in indecorous and intimate meetings with Van Dijk to a degree where he might be a charming, bespectacled culprit in the whole unsavoury affair. In spite of any potential culpability, we feel as bad for Klopp as we do for ourselves.

Yet there are bound to be more sagas and some small, personal punches of victory wherever you are in the world. This story doesn't end here, because it cannot and will not be allowed to do so. If you trust in that, you can trust that Liverpool will not remain bloody and bruised for long. To countenance such an existence for a club of Liverpool's stature is to embrace defeat with a weary fatalism forgetting that Klopp can be trusted with that precious corner of your mind where dreams reside.

As the cool kids say, absolute scenes when we get Van Dijk and Salah.