Five things Liverpool needs to accomplish after Edwards returns, according to Klopp | soccer4u
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Five things Liverpool needs to accomplish after Edwards returns, according to Klopp

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In order to handle Liverpool’s football operations, Michael Edwards joined FSG in a senior capacity. However, there are still many decisions that must be made at Anfield in the coming months.

Following the announcement in January of Jurgen Klopp’s resignation as manager of Liverpool, Fenway Sports Group was committed to bringing back a single player.

On Tuesday, FSG revealed that Michael Edwards, 44, would be joining the organization as CEO of Football, where he would be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of Anfield’s football department. He resigned as Liverpool’s sporting director in the summer of 2022, but he is back at the club in a senior capacity, albeit not directly to the Reds.

Edwards will take up President Mike Gordon’s duties as he returns to a more conventional ownership role within the organization, having previously been in charge of day-to-day operations at Anfield.

After Klopp’s decision was made public, he turned down an early offer from FSG and had previously turned down offers to return to football as head of operations from Chelsea and Manchester United. However, Edwards changed his mind after hearing a second presentation from the Reds’ American owners during in-person negotiations in Boston.

“I was touched by the eagerness and determination they demonstrated to collaborate with me once more,” he stated in an FSG announcement verifying his appointment. “Considering their history in both business and sports, this is definitely not something I take for granted.”

Gordon, meantime, would express his happiness that FSG’s pursuit had finally paid off.

“John, Tom, and I are ecstatic to have brought Michael on board for our company. He is one of the most formidable executive talents in international football.

“I am thrilled to have one of the most sought-after executives back in our ranks and I extend my warmest welcome to him on behalf of the entire FSG team.”

Edwards was hired again by FSG, who apparently wanted to bring on a top executive and were desperate for some stability before Klopp left.

Meanwhile, Gordon would say how pleased he was that FSG’s efforts had finally paid off.

“John, Tom, and I are thrilled to have Michael join our team at our business. In terms of executive talent, he is among the most formidable in world football.

“I am thrilled to have one of the most sought-after executives back in our ranks and I extend my warmest welcome to him on behalf of the entire FSG team.”

FSG, who were reportedly looking to bring on a senior executive and were anxious for some stability before Klopp left, recruited Edwards again.

Following his announcement that he would leave his position as AFC Bournemouth’s first team technical director at the end of the season, Richard Hughes is anticipated to be named to the position. Edwards, 44, was a junior data analyst at Portsmouth while the former Scotland international was a player, and the two became friends.

During Edwards’ first tenure as sports director at Liverpool, the two managed numerous transactions between the two teams, overseeing the signings of Jordon Ibe, Brad Smith, Dominic Solanke, Nathaniel Clyne, Harry Wilson, and Nat Phillips by the Cherries.

Employ a new first-team manager.

The focus will shift to the Reds’ pursuit of a new manager to follow Klopp once a new sporting director has been decided upon. That is, if he isn’t up for one last, last try at tough negotiations to persuade the outgoing boss to stay put, even if it doesn’t look like he will change his mind.

Finding and hiring the German’s replacement will ultimately fall within the purview of the incoming sporting director, who is most likely to be Hughes.

Alonso, a former midfielder for Liverpool, is the front-runner for the position because of his incredible turnaround at Bayer Leverkusen. However, it has been suggested that Germany’s Julian Nagelsmann and Sporting Lisbon’s Ruben Amorim are also major contenders, making the Spaniard not the only serious possibility being considered.

Hughes already enjoys a cordial working relationship with IDUB Global’s Inaki Ibanez, Alonso’s managers, having hired Andoni Iraola, another of their clients, as manager of Bournemouth last summer.

Recruit additional backroom workers

Naturally, Klopp won’t be the only one at Liverpool who has to be replaced; the bulk of his backroom crew has also been confirmed to be departing at the end of the current campaign.

At the end of the current campaign, Vitor Matos, the elite development coach, and assistant managers Pep Lijnders and Peter Krawietz will all be leaving their roles and need to be replaced.

completes transfer plans

Liverpool has been operating without a sporting director since the beginning of February, but their transfer strategy has not been shelved. Rather, chief scout Barry Hunter and head of recruitment Dave Fallows have overseen their summer preparations.

The two have been with the Reds for a long time and were colleagues of Edwards’ when he was first employed as the sporting director of the squad.

To be fair, Liverpool may not need to go through the major summer transfer windows before making any potential departures. Conor Bradley and Jarell Quansah, two products of the team’s academy, have reduced the need for new right- and center-backs, respectively.

But with Thiago Alcantara and Joel Matip due to leave the team after their contracts expire in the summer, there may be holes in the squad that need to be plugged. Even though holding midfielders Wataru Endo and Alexis Mac Allister have shown promise, it’s unclear if the team will go with a deeper option.

Adrian’s contract is also up, so Liverpool may need to hire a new goalkeeper. Additionally, there is ongoing discussion about Caoimhin Kelleher’s long-term future at Anfield after his standout time as first choice when Alisson Becker was injured.

It would also not be shocking if Saudi Arabia’s high-rolling ambitions for Mohamed Salah resurfaced, given that Al-Ittihad’s £150 million offer for the player was turned down the previous summer. There are still rumors circulating regarding Luis Diaz’s future.

Contract negotiations for new players

Though it wouldn’t be shocking if Matip, Thiago, and Adrian all left when their contracts expired in the summer, things are less certain for Liverpool’s players, whose contracts don’t expire until 2025.

When Klopp and Schmadtke’s departures were disclosed, the reasons behind Salah, Virgil van Dijk, and Trent Alexander-Arnold’s ability to play out the remaining 18 months of their contracts raised eyebrows.

As the summer approaches, the three will be in the last year of their contracts, therefore holding contract negotiations will undoubtedly take precedence.

Alexander-Arnold is still only 25, but Salah and Van Dijk are approaching thirty and have questionable long-term prospects anyhow.

Liverpool is expected to present a more favorable contract offer to its vice captain, as the England international is a key component of their promising future.

As long as Salah and Van Dijk are still among the first two names on the Liverpool teamsheet, discussions should also be undertaken with their representatives.

At thirty-one and thirty-two years old, respectively, there is still opportunity for a second extension, if they choose to continue on and participate in the ambitions of the new manager.

Find a new sister organization

Naturally, Edwards’ new position entails more than merely managing Liverpool. In his capacity as FSG’s Football CEO, he will oversee the day-to-day operations of the prospective sister club of the Reds as their owners seek to diversify their sports offerings.

Edwards will assist FSG in finding a potential second club before taking over as operations manager.

The idea excites the owners of Liverpool, who are presumably motivated by seeing the City Football Group thrive and their multiple clubs complement premier Man City.

Edwards’ return to FSG is therefore the beginning rather than the end of Liverpool’s life after Klopp, and the Reds anticipate an exciting future with their former sports director back in charge of their football operations.

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