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Will Michael Edwards Usher In a New Era of Liverpool Success in the Post-Klopp Era?

Increasingly these days, it seems that the staff working on identifying players to sign are just as valued as the individuals who take to the pitch.

Manchester United were quoted £20 million to sign Newcastle United’s sporting director Dan Ashworth, while Crystal Palace transfer supremo Dougie Freedman has also been linked with a move away from Selhurst Park.

The likes of Txiki Begiristain and Edu have also been vaunted for the success they’ve brought to Manchester City and Arsenal respectively, so these are individuals who know more than how to simply navigate Microsoft Excel databases.

Liverpool’s own head of recruitment, Michael Edwards, has now returned to the club. Can he help to usher in a new era of success in the post-Klopp years?

On the Front Foot

Those who place their football bets on the Premier League are still sweet about the Reds’ chances in the title race this term – backing them into 11/5, just behind City at 6/5, after the pair’s thrilling 1-1 draw at Anfield in which Liverpool were the much better side in the second half.

So there’s a chance that Jurgen Klopp’s last season as head coach will end on an extremely positive note, at which point the rebuild will begin – Edwards, assisted by a new head coach, will look to sprinkle some of his unique magic dust on the Reds’ work in the summer transfer window.

Klopp, of course, has been hampered by injuries in 2023/24, with Mo Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Diogo Jota, and Ibrahima Konate sidelined at such a crucial juncture of the campaign.

At full strength, there’s little improvement to be made to this Liverpool squad – perhaps a new centre half to lighten some of the load on Virgil van Dijk would be welcome, but otherwise Edwards’ laptop might be left to gather dust for a while.

It’s telling, then, that he will be given a ‘wider remit’ upon his return to Anfield, filling the chief executive role and taking on some of the football operations requirements previously carried out by FSG president Mike Gordon.

With more responsibility for Edwards, could that top-down approach ease the transition for the new head coach and help to maintain Liverpool’s elite status?

Scouting Around

Edwards’ popularity with the Anfield faithful is assured thanks to his outstanding record in the transfer market.

This is the man who identified, and signed, Mo Salah for just £34 million – a player who, in the fullness of time, will be regarded as a Liverpool great.

Alisson (£62 million), Jota (£41 million), Fabinho (£39 million), and Andy Robertson (£8 million) are just four more players identified by Edwards and signed for a relative pittance – particularly when you consider that the quartet has gone on to win the Premier League title and hoist the Champions League trophy while with the club.
Quite what the next chapter of his career will bring we can only guess, but Edwards’ knack for spotting underpriced talent – and an all-encompassing remit in his second stint at Anfield – could make the transition to a Klopp-less world somewhat easier.