Liverpool are reportedly among the clubs chasing a young England star, following a familiar transfer pattern. Jürgen Klopp has benefited from similar deals before.
As Pep Lijnders explains in his book, Liverpool have deliberately tended to follow something of a transfer pattern over the past few seasons.
Liverpool either sign the very best players in the world with the very highest ceilings (think Thiago Alcântara, Virgil van Dijk, Alisson Becker and perhaps in future Jude Bellingham), or they have signed the very best young talents they can (16 years old or so), with an eye on developing them into top talents at a very low cost.
Harvey Elliott is the prime example of Liverpool taking the chance to pick up one of the best up-and-coming talents in England, while Stefan Bajčetić was the last of the elite players brought in from Europe, with his transfer rushed through before the EU rules ceased to apply.
Ben Doak looks like a good option for the future on the evidence seen so far having arrived from Celtic in the summer, while Kaide Gordon is another who has a big future ahead of him having been signed from Derby County in 2021.
Trent Kone-Doherty was brought in from Derry City in the summer, and Bobby Clark was purchased from Newcastle United and is another talent to keep a close eye on.
Even before that, the Reds had picked up the likes of Rhian Brewster and Dominic Solanke, who did not ultimately make it under Klopp at Anfield, but did make Liverpool up to £42m including add-ons in transfer fees.
That is why it is so low-risk: even if those players ultimately do not make the grade at one of the very best teams in the world, their value is only going to be increased by the exposure of playing for Liverpool and continuing their development.
Now, according to the Daily Star, Liverpool, alongside Everton and Newcastle United, are leading the race for 15-year-old Sunderland talent Chris Rigg, who has captained England at U16 level.
Unfortunately for teams like Sunderland, who are mid-table in the Championship, there are more and more top-flight teams poaching their best young players, with clubs unable to do anything to stop it.
For Liverpool, though, and other teams at the top end of the Premier League, these are opportunities that should not be overlooked.
With Brexit regulations having forced Liverpool to change their recruitment, whether Rigg is the next player to make the switch or not, the pattern of the Reds picking up the best up-and-coming talents around the country is unlikely to stop.
After all, Elliott — and soon a couple of others — prove that it is a cost-effective way to attract the best players of the future. And Brewster and Solanke show even when the transfers don’t lead to new stars at Anfield, it can still be very lucrative for Liverpool, making it more than worth their while.