Michael Edwards has been a key man behind Liverpool’s rise to dominance.
He joined the membership over 10 years in the past, initially as head of analytics, and was appointed the membership’s sporting director in November 2016.
As a part of his function, he oversees the membership’s total growth which incorporates participant gross sales, acquisition and retention. Edwards additionally takes main duty for reviewing and implementing enhancements to Liverpool’s coaching floor surroundings and infrastructure.
Edwards revealed in November that he can be stepping down from his function on the finish of the season to get replaced by his assistant Julian Ward.
He leaves fairly the legacy, wth Liverpool having been topped European Champions for a sixth time and damaged their Premier League duck with him as sporting director.
Planet Sport seems to be again at Liverpool’s 5 key signings below Edwards.
Fabinho – Signed from Monaco, summer season 2018
Not solely was the signing of Fabinho an awesome little bit of enterprise, however the best way the deal was negotiated was masterful work from Edwards.
The Brazilian worldwide was signed from Monaco in a deal price £43milion solely three days after Liverpool had been defeated within the Champions League last by Actual Madrid.
It helped many followers neglect in regards to the heartbreaking last loss, however extra importantly it confirmed Liverpool’s intent for the forthcoming season – they weren’t messing round.
Liverpool acquired the deal executed rapidly and it got here out of the blue, with native journalists breaking the information only some hours previous to the membership asserting the deal. It additionally noticed them beat Manchester United to the punch, with their Premier League rivals reportedly eager on taking him to Previous Trafford.
Since Fabinho joined Liverpool, he has been nothing in need of spectacular. In three-and-a-half seasons for the Reds, Fabinho has performed 129 Premier League and Champions League video games.
Whether or not as a deep-lying midfielder or as a centre-back, his efficiency ranges by no means drop. Liverpool are fairly merely a greater group when he is within the facet.
Andy Robertson – Signed from Hull, summer season 2017
One of many first names that involves thoughts when cut price and switch are talked about in the identical breath.
In the summertime of 2017, Liverpool had been on the lookout for an improve at left-back as they ready to re-enter the Champions League. Monaco’s Benjamin Mendy and Napoli’s Faouzi Ghoulam had been reportedly atop Liverpool’s wishlist, however Edwards and his scouting division opted to signal Robertson from Championship-bound Hull Metropolis for a giveaway of £8million.
And, though he did not earn a beginning place immediately, as soon as he acquired his likelihood, he took it with each fingers.
Robertson has been Liverpool’s beginning left-back since early 2018 and stays a key a part of Jurgen Klopp’s plans.
Extensively considered one of many left-back on this planet, the 27-year-old’s crossing means and overlapping runs have seen him amass an unimaginable 40 assists in 191 video games for the Reds.
Robertson’s emergence additionally earned him the captain’s armband for the Scotland nationwide group.
Not dangerous for somebody who was enjoying within the third tier of Scottish soccer solely eight years in the past.
Alisson – Signed from Roma, summer season 2018
For a very long time, a brand new goalkeeper was excessive on the want listing for Liverpool.
Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius didn’t persuade and the membership knew they wanted a major improve in the event that they needed to convey house silverware.
After Karius’ calamity crammed efficiency within the Champions League last, the Reds changed him that very same summer season, signing Brazilian worldwide Alisson from Roma.
The deal was reportedly £67million, which on the time was the document switch price for a goalkeeper.
Edwards was reportedly contemplating Lazio’s Thomas Strakosha over Alisson as a less expensive various, Nevertheless, the Brazilian has confirmed cash effectively spent, as he has revolutionised Liverpool’s defence.
In his first season, he performed a significant half within the group’s Champions League triumph. With out his heroic last-minute save in Liverpool’s last group sport towards Napoli, the Reds would by no means have made the knockout stage, by no means thoughts win the match.
Alisson was named as Greatest FIFA Goalkeeper in 2019 and has been named to the FIFA World XI twice, in 2019 and 2020.
In the summertime he signed a six-year cope with Liverpool which ties him to the membership till 2027.
Virgil van Dijk – Signed from Southampton, winter 2018
When the information broke that Liverpool had signed Van Dijk for a whopping £75million, Southampton regarded the one winners within the deal.
Nevertheless, wanting again 4 years on, it is clear that Edwards knew precisely what he was doing. Edwards and Liverpool had first tried to signal the Dutch worldwide in the summertime of 2017. Nevertheless, Southampton accused the Merseyside membership of negotiating with the participant illegally. Regardless of the controversy, Edwards didn’t surrender on Van Dijk, and nonetheless made it his precedence to safe his signature within the subsequent accessible window.
On the time, the price was the best ever for a defender. However regardless of the burden of expectation, Van Dijk hit the bottom operating, scoring on his debut towards Everton at Anfield to ship his new facet by way of to the following spherical of the FA Cup.
In Van Dijk’s first full season, Liverpool conceded the fewest variety of objectives within the prime flight (22) and misplaced just one sport, ending on 97 factors.
Though they in the end ended up second behind Manchester Metropolis, Van Dijk and Liverpool nonetheless ended the season with a trophy due to a Champions League victory over Tottenham.
Van Dijk was awarded the 2019 PFA Gamers’ Participant of the 12 months and the 2019 UEFA Males’s Participant of the 12 months Award.
An absolute colossus on the again, his affect was by no means clearer than final season when Liverpool’s title defence faltered in his injury-enforced absence.
Mo Salah – Signed from Roma, summer season 2017
When Liverpool introduced the signing of Mohamed Salah on June 23, 2017, the response from Liverpool followers and soccer followers generally was combined.
Edwards and Liverpool had been linked with quite a few attacking choices, together with Leverkusen’s Julian Brandt, and Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette and Salah’s first stint within the Premier League had been one to neglect.
Salah performed solely seven video games for Chelsea and regarded misplaced and low on confidence.
However after spending three years in Italy with Fiorentina and Roma, Salah was revitalised, becoming a member of the Reds for £34million.
In his first season with the Reds, he scored 32 league objectives to win the Golden Boot, PFA Gamers’ Participant of the 12 months, FWA Footballer of the 12 months and the FIFA Puskas Award.
Not solely does he have electrical pace and an elite ending means, however he’s additionally a group participant who can create objectives too.
This season, the 29-year-old leads the Premier League for objectives and assists and he now has 106 objectives and counting for Liverpool. Proof that Edwards noticed one thing within the Egyptian that only a few others did.
All of them see it now, nonetheless.
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