The clamour, the insatiable thirst, for Premier League clubs to conduct lavish transfer business has never been greater – or more misguided.
As neutrals, we have basked in the glory of the Liverpool juggernaut racking up 196 points in two seasons.
As fans, the Reds’ faithful have never been more spoiled, romping to victory after victory, setting record after record, cruising across the finish line in a race that competitors may as well have stayed in bed for.
Liverpool have enjoyed two of the best seasons in English football history, certainly when paired together, a tally just shy of 200 points is proof enough that Jurgen Klopp has got it right, the players have got it right, the transfer committee has got it right.
One-time targets of derision, the recruitment chiefs at Anfield are reaping the spoils of their diligent work from transfer windows gone by, with a penchant for a sub-£30m masterstroke moves.
They seek gems where Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City may have turned their noses up at in recent times as they all search for the finished articles as opposed to diamonds in the rough.
Unfashionable moves for an ex-Chelsea cast-off, Southampton winger and Hoffenheim forward blossomed into the now-deadly Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino trio.
Previous teams of their world-conquering strongest starting XI include Hull, Sunderland and Newcastle, a young full-back born and raised in West Derby, Liverpool, and their midfield has been juiced up with stars from the much-maligned RB Leipzig and a faltering Monaco.
Liverpool have spent big money when required, but first and foremost, they have spent it intelligently. They look in the right places and kit-out their all-conquering machine with bespoke parts as opposed to obviously talented superstars.
They won the Premier League by 18 points, and held a 33-point gap over third-placed Manchester United, meaning this summer they didn’t need to spend a penny.
And yet, fans have been restless. They have watched in envy at Chelsea throwing money around for fun, they have seen United engage in talks for Jadon Sancho and watched City flirt with Lionel Messi.
But the worry is so far removed from the reality of the situation. The hundreds of millions being spent by others is solely motivated by the desire to catch Liverpool. And nobody will be able to do that this year.
Of course, every side can do with a tweak and tune, but calls for Liverpool to spend lavishly were painfully at odds with everything Klopp and the gang have achieved since his arrival.
The impending signing of Thiago should be heralded as one of the best-value improvements to a title-winning side the Premier League has ever seen. He is a Swiss army knife midfielder capable of sitting back, drifting sideways or driving forwards. The Spanish star boasts a silky touch and a devilish knack of cutting open defences with the flick of a foot.
Thiago was named Man of the Match in the 2020 Champions League final and Liverpool are picking him up, at the age of 29, for less than £30million.
His reasons for leaving Bayern Munich – or to put it more accurately, Bayern’s reasons for allowing him to leave – aren’t fully clear, but one suggestion that his versatility has impaired Munich’s ability to find a regular slot for him could be his greatest asset in the Reds’ eyes.
Liverpool being able to use players with flexibility will open up a world of options to Klopp. Alongside Henderson and Fabinho, he will be the attacking outlet. Alongside Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain, he could slot back as a more rounded midfield option.
All for less than thirty. million. pounds. in a marketplace that has previously seen Liverpool manage to sell Jordon Ibe and Dominic Solanke to Bournemouth for £35million combined.
Football Twitter boasts a growing mob of impatience, but should Liverpool land their man – and it appears nailed-on that they will – it will cap off a perfect transfer window and put them head, shoulders and mid-riff above the so-called ‘competition’.