Freshley retired English football manager Neil Warnock recently spoke to the Mirror about missing out on the chance to sign current Liverpool FC defender Virgil van Dijk, and it’s just as bizarre as you think it is.
Context: The year is 2014, and Virgil Van Dijk is crushing it with Celtic in Scotland. He’s about to move to the English Premier League. There’s a race between Southampton and Crystal Palace to land him, with Palace as slight favourites. They pull out of the race abruptly. Southampton would go on to sign him in 2015.
“The one that got away was Van Dijk.”
“I got offered him when I was at Crystal Palace for just £5million back in 2014.”
“But my chief scout said he was too slow and he ended up at Southampton instead! It’s a shame because anything he may lack in pace, he makes up for 10-fold in his ability to read the game.”
Too slow. Incredible. Don’t ever name the scout because he’ll probably never work in football ever again.