West Brom scout resigned over Tony Pulis' refusal to sign Virgil Van Dijk
What could have been...
It's fun to imagine what might have been had some possible transfers come off in the past. Well, you might not think so but I do. What if Cristiano Ronaldo had joined Arsenal? What if Ronaldinho has joined Manchester United? It really makes you wonder how differently the noughties would have panned out.
Here's another one for you: what if, instead of joining Southampton, and subsequently Liverpool, Virgil Van Dijk had signed for West Bromwich Albion from Celtic?
It could very easily have happened, as revealed by the the Scottish Sun. According to the newspaper, West Brom scout Stuart Millar resigned after Tony Pulis and the club decided against signing the Dutchman during his time at Celtic.
Millar scouted the player 20 times and told the club that they would double their money on the defender if they signed him, and was vindicated after Liverpool signed him for a record £75m.
“I knew after 20 minutes that he was good enough to play in the English Premier League. I recommended him to Tony Pulis and said, ‘We must sign him’. I put on the report, ‘If we sign Van Dijk we’ll double our money in two years’. I got that wrong because it was about ten times the value they got back," Millar told the Scottish Sun.
“Unfortunately West Brom didn’t pursue that, which was frustrating on my part and ultimately why I left West Brom — because I was certain I was recommending a player who was top notch. I think it should be an embarrassment to every other club that watched him and didn’t pursue him.”
Baggies fans will be glad Tony Pulis is long gone from the club after hearing stories like these. His reluctance to sign or play any flair players held West Brom back from playing any sort of expansive style for years.
And even if he had joined, Van Dijk probably would have played at full-back under Pulis.