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'It's amazing': Ferdinand says two Liverpool players 'have improved so much', no one predicted 'world-class' rise

Rio Ferdinand hailed Liverpool’s transfer business on Wednesday and believes two players are a shining example of what the Reds do.

Rio Ferdinand can’t help but applaud Liverpool’s recruitment. He believes it’s ‘amazing’ what the Reds have done in consistently signing top players. More importantly, he says, they’re making their arrivals better players.

“The recruitment, you have to look at it. It’s amazing what they’ve done,” he told BT Sport. “They don’t get many wrong.

“And the important part is when players come through the door here, they improve. You look at most of the players that come here – when [Sadio] Mané came here, you wouldn’t have said he was going to be a ‘world-class finisher/striker’ really.

“Mo Salah, even, when he came here you wouldn’t imagine he’d be doing what he’s doing but these guys have improved so much. You have to really, really champion the recruitment.”

Liverpool’s world-class transfers

Ferdinand is absolutely right and it’s been a hallmark of the Reds’ recruitment. They’ve always picked up players who had doubts over them, with Thiago really the only established world-class player to arrive. You can arguably add Alisson to that, too.

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But both Mané and Salah had those doubts. Neither were at the top level yet, with Salah even failing in the Premier League once before. Mané would arrive from midtable Southampton, much as Virgil van Dijk did 18 months later.

There’s little doubt that Liverpool sign the right players but they don’t necessarily sign elite ones. The coaching at the club plays just as big a role to maximize what each player brings. And at the end of the day – that’s how it’s supposed to work.

It’s actually the basics of building a football team but Liverpool do it better than anyone in the world right now. Both Mané and Salah, to stick with his examples, are world-class players now. In fact, they’re arguably playing their best football yet, with the Egyptian leading the way in goals and assists in the Premier League. Mané is in the form of his life right now, too.

That’s the mix of coaching and recruitment – it truly is amazing.

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