The man who scouted Sami Hyypia for Liverpool claims there was never any doubt in his mind that the big Finn could become an Anfield legend.

Former Reds skipper Ron Yeats brought the centre-back to the attention of Gerard Houllier in 1999 after watching him star for Dutch side Willem II.

The then Liverpool manager acted swiftly by asking the club to write a cheque for £2.5million.

It proved to be money well spent as Hyypia went on to score 35 goals in 464 games - as well as featuring prominently in our 2001 treble and 2005 Champions League triumph.

"The first time I saw him I couldn't believe how good he was," said Yeats.

"He was strong in the air and a great tackler but the thing that really struck me was how good he was on the ball. He very seldom gave it away.

"He reminded me of myself in many ways - but I wasn't as good in possession as Sami.

"I went back and told the club that this was a lad we really needed to buy. I said they couldn't afford to take their time because otherwise someone else would be in for him.

"Out of all the players I recommended the club sign, Sami is one of the ones I'm most proud of.

"It's hard to imagine how much a young Sami would go for now because good centre-backs are hard to find."

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