When I came in he was 25 and already the captain.
Had a heart like this, his heart like iron,
he's sacrificed himself completely for the team,
so you really have to get him out, you have to say,
"Don't be there, you cannot be everywhere." So that's all his character and attitude.
He's a perfect skipper in the dressing room and in the club, really perfect.
The perfect start to the season,
and then a red card at Man City.
He had that in his mind for a while, then he had an injury as well,
he struggled and lost shape a little bit,
but even that shows a world-class player,
which Sadio obviously is if he is in his best shape, but still.
But then he cooled down, and since then he has played on a sensational level.
What a player, huh? Unbelievable.
The unloved hero!
I'm really happy with him. I know, he knows.
Dejan can improve in consistency, that's 100 per cent,
but we work on that.
And on his normal days and his good days,
he's an outstanding centre-half.
If you had to buy a centre-half with his qualities, that's really big money.
He's a fantastic football player, can still improve, but physically so strong,
and his best skill is, he always wants the ball.
As a midfielder, that's very important - VERY important.
Best No. 3 probably in world football.
Kind of an old-school British goalkeeper talking-wise.
I learned a lot of words just from listening to Wardy during training sessions!
I'm really happy to have him around, he's a fantastic boy in the middle of he group.
That's such a long name I thought I had three players!
Trent, Alexander and Arnold - but it was at the end only him.
Yeah, it was obvious he was a big talent from the first second,
but he was physically not ready.
He made big steps, he was still growing,
he was young enough, he was 17 when I first met him.
But the talent was obvious, there was only one question -
was he...mentally ready for the Premier League?
And he showed in a lot of moments that he is absolutely ready.
Outstanding season, with a really nice tournament at the end,
during the summer break. I really think it's deserved and it's a good decision.
An outstanding football player, that's the other one.
I think everybody in the team would say Alberto could play No. 10,
could play the offensive wing, could play the right wing, the left wing.
He is the best shooter in the squad, unfortunately nobody knows that
because it didn't happen in the games.
But he played an outstanding pre-season,
a fantastic first part of the season, and he got an injury,
and Robbo stepped up and used the opportunity, obviously quite impressively.
I had no clue what a fantastic guy he is.
But if you would say he has world-class potential, there's no doubt about that.
He is for sure already a world-class human being, unbelievable -
really funny, really smart.
With a bad injury, but like I said,
we will wait for him like a good wife when her husband is in prison.
What a start he had when he came in.
His pre-season was fantastic, outstanding, goals, how he played,
all that stuff, and then he didn't play often.
Now he's back. It was so nice to see that he could now score that goal.
Maybe the inventor of the false nine,
he makes our system completely difficult to play,
because he plays the 10, the 9, whatever you want.
A workhorse and this kind of genius technician,
you don't have that combination that often.
A dream for each manager, because we don't really have a common language,
it's not that Bobby's English would be perfect or his German would be perfect,
my Portuguese is non-existent,
but we have a non-verbal communication obviously that works pretty well.
I know it's not easy, the situation, especially with his quality,
but he took it really well and pushed Loris on a really high level,
and it's really good having him around.
Not the most emotional person in the world, I would say,
but I think it was after the Man City game,
he had his first few minutes in the Champions League,
we shook hands after the game and he said, "Thank you, boss."
At first I had no idea what he was talking about, then I said, "Oh, right!"
It was his first Champions League minutes.
I didn't do it because of that,
to be 100 per cent honest, it was not to give Clyney a few minutes,
I did it because I thought he could bring us stability in that moment of the game,
and so it was really nice.
Most two-footed player I ever saw,
or had as a player, the movements are just crazy,
I don't know how that works, and he's a genius.
When I saw him in the last 15 minutes against Brighton I really had the thought again -
"How could we play the season without him?"
Yeah, a real playmaker, a really, really good player.
That's what can happen,
in a strong team like we are you cannot always make the next steps.
And he's still a very young boy,
turned 18 a few weeks or months ago,
so very young, in a really strong football team,
but we are very patient, and as long as he is patient everything will be fine.
Very versatile player, very good,
very dynamic, very powerful -
injured in the wrong moment. And for sure one of the nice players we have,
he's a really nice person.
He will be a fantastic player for us and we're really waiting on him already,
because he is injured now, but we'll be really happy when he's back for pre-season.
He's a genius. Actually, if Ragnar Klavan would believe in himself
as much as I believe in him, he would be a world-class centre-half. Simple as that.
I think if you gave the boys the choice in training,
who do you want to play with, in a five-a-side or whatever - Raggy.
He's a machine, Milly, 100 per cent.
Fantastic person when he's playing, when he's not playing he's not!
Played the wing, then the full-back, then the centre-mid,
shows all the positions he probably played during his career,
and now he uses all the experience he collected during those times.
He's a really good player for us, absolutely important.
Really funny guy,
really funny in the middle of the group.
Loves playing rondos, is really good at playing rondos
and loves it, because of that probably.
Then really chatty in these situations,
around training he's not the most chatty person,
but he's a really nice boy, and, yeah, he will be back for pre-season as well
and played a big part in our season.
He took the chance
and made big steps in his development.
He was ready, and so we let him go, that's it.
Really stable season so far, it's quite positive, the view in the future.
The Scottish car.
He's exactly the player we thought he was.
With all the problems in the beginning he came in and asked me,
"Boss, what do I have to do differently?"
And I said to him, "I don't know why we're talking about that again, you know it."
"You only have to improve your defending.
"It's all about the last step in the challenges and things like that."
We spoke about that, and he said, "OK, good."
He went out and...
And he changed it!
Gini has world-class potential,
he is an outstanding football player.
A really nice person, constantly smiling,
but also, if a rule in a training game is not 100 per cent clear
he is the first to realise it and is moaning about it.
Yeah, another nice one.
He is 100 per cent fit and the future is bright for Danny.
So that's good, and as a person, yeah,
a very good ambassador for a proper English professional in the best way,
and a top finisher, 100 per cent.
The big man!
I think I said he would take time and we would see the real Virgil van Dijk
in the next season. I'm really happy that he speeded up a little.
He's brought a lot of stability and it's really good.
Worth each penny we paid.
We are not really surprised about the goals...
About the numbers of course, because they are not normal.
But that he is a goal-scorer, we are not surprised about that.
That was clear, that was the reason, that was why we thought about him,
we knew he was a very, very, very offensive midfielder.
He's so funny as a person, he's a fantastic ambassador for the whole Arabic world,
so it's so nice to have him around.
What a player!