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Featured Image Credit: PA
Ralf Rangnick's time as Manchester United's interim manager might not have been great so far but he did have some sway over Liverpool's recent success.
Rangnick was the surprise choice to take over from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer until the end of the season, when the previous United boss was sacked in November following a 4-1 loss to Watford.
His previous jobs had mainly been as a director of football at Red Bull Salzburg, RB Leipzig and Lokomotiv Moscow, with short stints as manager at Leipzig his only management roles since Schalke in 2011.
That, along with the form under him, has led many to question the appointment, call for his sacking, and question his future as the club's 'consultant' after he signed a two year deal following his time as interim boss.
However, the German has now pointed out that he identified the talent of many of Liverpool's most important players, before they signed for Jurgen Klopp's team.
"They are good, they are extremely good. It's no coincidence that they're as good as they are," the 63-year-old said when asked about his side's upcoming opponents.
"Jurgen has built that team over the last six-and-a-half years. Six or seven of those players used to be my - or our - players.
"We signed them for our clubs when nobody knew them and again it's no coincidence that this is probably the club with the highest number of players from our former clubs.
"Their approach, their style of football, the way they want to play is pretty similar."
The United interim boss worked with Roberto Firmino, Joel Matip, Sadio Mane, Ibrahima Konate, Naby Keita and Takumi Minamino earlier in their careers.
He managed Firmino at Hoffenheim and Matip at Schalke whilst Mane, Konate, Keita and Minamino were signed by either Salzburg or Leipzig during his time as director of football.
Whilst United fans might not enjoy the idea that their manager is potentially one reason their rivals are so good right now, the club might want to take note.
Erik ten Hag reportedly impressed Darren Fletcher and John Murtough by being honest about their recruitment and scouting being so poor and maybe if they listened to Rangnick going forward things might improve.
Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick at the weekend, coupled with Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal losing to Brighton and Southampton respectively, means United still have an outside chance of finishing in the top four.
They might need to beat Klopp's side on Tuesday and that won't be an easy proposition, especially as they were battered 5-0 by their rivals at Old Trafford earlier in the season.
The Reds still have a chance of winning the quadruple this season, after beating Manchester City in the FA Cup semi final on Saturday.
United fans would no doubt love nothing more than putting a dent in Liverpool's title chances, whilst furthering their own top four ambitions, even if that means helping City.