Believe it or not, there would have been some casual observers who tuned in to watch much of the first hour of Jude Bellingham facing Manchester City who were left disappointed.
After all, if you didn’t pay too much attention to the Bundesliga then all you’d be used to would be Bellingham’s highlights reel, a driving run here, a fine pass there, and an impressive and a feisty post-match interview or two.
But while it often didn’t catch the eye in the flashy way that all of those obvious moments do, bar one fine early pass, there was so much to admire about the first 56 minutes of the Englishman’s display at the Etihad Stadium, and you can bet a certain Jurgen Klopp was taking a keen interest too.
Then he went and scored a goal.
Showing an impressive instinct, Bellingham was in the right place at the right time to nod home Dortmund’s opener on a night when they often left City angry and frustrated, the hosts struggling to break through a yellow wall in the way that they often do to pretty much everyone else.
The goal was just a reward for Bellingham’s display, but that really won’t be Klopp and his transfer team’s takeaway as they watched a player many expect to be wearing red next season.
The real clues he made for the Reds came in the first period of the match, when both he and Emre Can – a man who knows all about playing in a Klopp midfield – were hugely impressive in their dutiful showing in the middle of the park.
Bellingham was loving the challenge.
He rattled into Jack Grealish in the early stages, a challenge which drew a smile from the teenager and his fellow Midlander and England teammate.
Grealish wasn’t smiling later in the half though, as Bellingham twice got into positions to block his efforts as he cut inside onto his right foot in that way that always used to serve him so well at Aston Villa.
There was another brilliant interception on Ilkay Gundogan on the edge of the box too, with that one coupled with a rangy run forward as Bellingham started the latest Dortmund attacks which were usually fairly sporadic, although did at least carry enough threat to worry an increasingly irked City.
That worry grew to panic when Marco Reus clipped a cross into the box early in the second half, and Bellingham was stooping to conquer and shock the hosts.
City would recover, coming back to win thanks to a goal from the inevitable Erling Haaland, but Bellingham’s strike would have caught Klopp’s eye.
Goals haven’t always been the primary ask of a Liverpool midfielder, and they probably aren’t even in the top 10 requests if we’re honest, but as he remodels his side in the next couple of years Klopp is likely to need a player who can chip in with a few strikes.
That player, if it is to be Bellingham, will not come cheap, but there was so much to admire about his display here.
Defensively there was an air of the diligence of a Jordan Henderson or Gini Wijnaldum in those Liverpool Champions League and Premier League winning sides, while going forward there was a cutting edge too.
Liverpool know what it’ll take to bring Bellingham to Anfield, but on this evidence whatever it is will be worth it.