Jurgen Klopp has lauded the transformation of Alberto Moreno from laughable left-back to first-team regular.
Moreno joined Liverpool in 2014 but has struggled to establish himself at Anfield, with a number of high-profile errors blighting his first few seasons.
But the Spaniard has emerged from the shadow of James Milner and fought off competition from Andrew Robertson to become the club’s first-choice left-back this season.
He has been perhaps one of Liverpool’s most consistent performers, and Klopp is mightily impressed.
“I never had something like this, I never had it to be honest,” the manager told the club’s official website.
“This season is not a surprise, the surprise is how he dealt with last season. There was not one bad word in the whole season.
“Yes, he was in my office, yes, he asked what he could do better, and we spoke about the things he had to do better.
“On the other hand, Milly played really well and he’s a machine, he could play every two days, so there was not a lot of reasons to make the change then he had no rhythm.
“I felt that it was unfair after the season, I thought, ‘Damn, we didn’t use him often enough’.
“Before the season, he came to my office and asked again and I told him we get another full-back but it was not the plan for Milly to be in the full-back race again so you decide what happens – and he decided it.
“He’s now a much better defender, that’s how it is, he’s a brilliant footballer.
“When you see him shooting here, you think he cannot shoot – he shoots like crazy! It’s unbelievable how good he is! In the games so far, obviously, it didn’t settle.
“How he reacted on last year is really, really good.”