Michael Edwards’ planned departure from Liverpool in summer 2022 could upset the balance and have a major negative impact on the club, according to one pundit.
Edwards took up his current position as sporting director in November 2016 after an exciting rise behind the scenes with the Reds. Indeed, he initially moved to Anfield in 2011 as head of performance and analysis. He then became director of technical performance in 2013, before working as technical director in 2016.
In his current role, though, he has masterminded the deals which have seen Liverpool become so successful under Jurgen Klopp.
Under his stewardship, the likes of Mohamed Salah, Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk have all signed.
According to a report this week, though, Edwards will step down and move on at the end of the current season.
The report does not state the reason why, but suggests that he wants to end his time at Liverpool on a high note.
His exit though will leave Liverpool with a big hole to fill. Julian Ward, Liverpool’s assistant sporting director, is expected to fill his shoes.
Noel Whelan, however, speaking to Football Insider, believes Edwards’ departure will be keenly felt.
“Edwards has done so well in the transfer market,” he said.
“He’s been brilliant at bringing players in and selling players so naturally his loss would be felt. He has basically built the team along with Jurgen Klopp.
“When you lose somebody who knows the club inside out like he does, it can upset the balance. It is not easy to replace someone who has built up that trust with the manager. It would definitely be a blow if he left.”
As well as bringing the likes of Alisson and Van Dijk to the club, Edwards has proved crucial in retaining those players.
The duo, as well as Fabinho and Trent Alexander-Arnold, have all signed new long-term contracts this summer. Meanwhile, Edwards played a vital role in Klopp’s own extension in 2019.
Edwards efforts to move on Karius fail
Edwards’ main aim this transfer window was to shift some of the deadwood at Anfield nowhere near Liverpool’s first team.
Karius has been a Liverpool player since 2016, when they signed him from Mainz. He spent two seasons as their first choice goalkeeper, but it ended in tears when his errors led to them losing the 2018 Champions League final. He has not played for the club since.
Liverpool lent him to Besiktas for two seasons following that infamous calamity, before he spent last season with Union Berlin. However, his return to his native Germany was not particularly successful; he made just five appearances in all competitions.
Karius was thus back with Liverpool for pre-season training, although he did not play in any of their friendlies.
With just one year left on his contract, this could have been Liverpool’s last chance to cut their losses on Karius. As a result, the Daily Telegraph reported that the club spent all of deadline day trying to get rid of him.
The outlet claimed Karius may want to be paid off to agree an exit. Liverpool would not agree to such terms, so he should be consigned to the sidelines until 2022.