Arsenal are set to go head to head with Manchester United in the transfer battle and the result could be transformative for either club as they look to improve their defences ahead of the next season.
There has been one factor that almost sums up Liverpool’s rise and fall over the past three seasons and that is the arrival of Virgil Van Dijk.
The Dutchman joined as the world’s most expensive defender when he moved from Southampton for £75m but he has already repaid that fee.
With him at the bedrock of Liverpool’s backline, Jurgen Klopp has won the Champions League and the Premier League.
And now with the centre-back injured, the Reds are in a crisis – losing five times at Anfield in a row for the first time in their history on Thursday night.
Forget the title, Klopp is facing a battle to get Liverpool in the top four.
But other clubs can look on and witness the transformative power Van Dijk has given.
One such team are Arsenal – with Mikel Arteta looking to improve his defence in the summer transfer window.
After signing Gabriel Magalhaes last year, the Spaniard is keen on partnering him up with another player – though United are also in the hunt.
RB Leipzig ace Dayot Upamecano was the player everyone wanted but when it became clear that his choice was Bayern Munich, scouts did not look far to find a replacement target.
In fact, they only shifted their gaze somewhat slightly to the side after identifying Ibrahima Konate as the ideal man.
The 21-year-old is being chased by United and Arsenal this summer in a battle that could see over £35m spent.
Whoever wins that race could see the same benefits that Liverpool saw when they brought in Van Dijk, who possesses similar attributes.
Konate is brilliant on the ball, a huge aerial threat and a mammoth defender that attacking players struggle to get past.
Both Premier League clubs are in need of a player of the Frenchman’s stature and their seasons could largely depend on how they go about their business in the transfer window.