Jurgen Klopp: Two key decisions went against Liverpool in West Ham defeat
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Liverpool have confirmed that influential sporting director Michael Edwards will leave the club after over a decade of service. It is a departure that will come as a blow to Jurgen Klopp, with Edwards being key to a number of important arrivals during the German’s six-year spell.
Edwards has held his current post at Anfield since November 2016 and will leave when his contract expires at the end of the season. He will be replaced by his assistant, Julian Ward.
The 42-year-old initially joined the Merseyside outfit as head of performance and analysis from Tottenham in November 2011. He had held a similar role at Spurs.
Edwards was promoted to technical director in August 2015 before changing his job title just over a year later, playing an important part in Liverpool’s success under Klopp.
His role has involved overseeing the football side of the operation, including transfers.
The likes of Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Alisson Becker and Andy Robertson have all been signed on Edwards’ watch.
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Each player was vital during Liverpool’s incredible Champions League-winning campaign of 2018-19. They then ended the club’s 30-year wait for a league title in 2020.
The Reds have also been famed for the money received in player sales. The likes of Christian Benteke, Danny Ward, Mamadou Sakho and Philippe Coutinho have been sold for over a combined £200million.
Those deals have allowed transfers for the likes of Salah, Van Dijk and Alisson. The £36m summer arrival Ibrahima Konate has also settled in well.
Before joining Spurs in 2009, Edwards spent six years at Portsmouth as a performance analyst before they entered administration.
It was there that he met now-Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe, who was coming to the end of his playing career as a defender.
According to several reports, Howe wants Edwards to be appointed into a director of football role at St James’ Park.
The new Saudi-backed ownership of the Tyneside outfit want someone to fill the vacancy and Howe has apparently suggested Edwards, with whom he has stayed in close contact.
Edwards posted a lengthy letter to supporters on the club’s website, with an excerpt reading: “I had always planned to cap my time at the club to a maximum of 10 years. I’ve loved working here, but I am a big believer in change.
“I think it’s good for the individual and, in a work setting, good for the employer too. Over my time here we have changed so many things but someone new brings a different perspective, new ideas and can hopefully build on the things that have been put in place beforehand.
“That’s how I believe businesses/football clubs stay ahead; you need to evolve and at the heart of this kind of process is always people.
“That evolution has always been central to Liverpool’s history and I hope that this is one thing that doesn’t change.”
He added: “I’m not great at the here and now. I’ve always looked ahead and for the past couple of years I’ve known that the time for me to leave this role was approaching and I think it is entirely fitting that the person to take over from me is Julian Ward.
“As was the case with myself, I doubt you will hear much from him, but on this occasion I will speak on his behalf in the knowledge what I have to say will be greeted with widespread agreement by everyone who has come across him both inside and outside the club.”
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