Michael Edwards has transformed Liverpool’s transfer policy

Liverpool were a laughing stock in the transfer market once upon a time. That’s not the case any more.
Gone are the days where they’d splash eye-watering sums of money on terrible signings – £35million for Andy Carroll and £20million for Stewart Downing spring to mind right away.
John W Henry and Tom Werner have owned Liverpool for eight years
GETTY
16
John W Henry and Tom Werner have owned Liverpool for eight years
These days there’s an expectation that any signing the Reds make is world class or will become world class under Jurgen Klopp’s management.
Takumi Minamino is Liverpool’s latest recruit after putting pen-to-paper on a deal from Red Bull Salzburg for a mere £7.25m.
Klopp has to take a huge amount of credit for Liverpool’s excellent work in the transfer market but another man has played a huge part in transforming their fortunes too.
November 4, 2016 may not mean a lot to Kopites but it really should ,as that was when Michael Edwards was appointed sporting director of the club.
Kevin Hatchard on why Liverpool should be excited about signing Takumi Minamino
Everything changed then and Liverpool have made a number of great signings over the past three years, including Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah.
Edwards has been at the club since 2011, initially as head of analytics before being promoted to director of technical performance and then technical director.
So he would have played a key role in recruiting the likes of Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum in the summer of 2016 too.
talkSPORT.com has looked at all the signings Liverpool have made since Edwards became sporting director and ranked them.
Edwards has been integral to Liverpool’s progress in recent years
WWW.LIVERPOOLFC.COM
16
Edwards has been integral to Liverpool’s progress in recent years

14) Andy Lonergan

He’s a familiar name in the Football League but amazingly goalkeeper Lonergan joined Liverpool just this summer.
The 36-year-old has not made a single appearance for the club this season and is not likely to unless there’s a serious injury crisis in goal.
So unfortunately, Lonergan is in last position of the players Liverpool have signed during Edwards’ premiership.
Lonergan is best known for his time at Preston but has also played for Leeds and Wolves
GETTY IMAGES - GETTY
16
Lonergan is best known for his time at Preston but has also played for Leeds and Wolves

13) Tony Gallacher

‘Who?’ you might ask but it’s fair enough because the full-back, 20, has only made one senior appearance since signing in January 2018.
And it actually came very recently as Gallacher played in Liverpool’s Carabao Cup exit at Aston Villa, a game where the youngest Reds team in history lost 5-0.
It was a baptism of fire for Gallacher (right) at Villa Park
AFP OR LICENSORS
16
It was a baptism of fire for Gallacher (right) at Villa Park

12) Sepp van den Berg

This is undoubtedly an investment for the future but Van den Berg, 18, has not really found his feet at Anfield just yet.
The Dutchman, who has been likened to colossus Van Dijk, has looked a bit out of his depth when playing in the Carabao Cup against MK Dons and Arsenal as well as that defeat at Villa Park.
The fresh-faced defender could be a future star
LIVERPOOLFC.COM
16
The fresh-faced defender could be a future star

11) Dominic Solanke

He came with a lot of promise in the summer of 2017 after being poached from Chelsea but things never quite happened for Solanke at Liverpool.
Klopp said he tried to play the striker more but with the front three of Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino gelling brilliantly, it was always going to be a tall order.
And when an opportunity would open up for Solanke he always seemed to be injured. He now plays for Bournemouth but the Reds did get a decent for for and have made a profit on him.
Solanke swapped Liverpool for Bournemouth in January
GETTY
16
Solanke swapped Liverpool for Bournemouth in January

10) Harvey Elliott

Think about what you were doing aged 16. Chances are you weren’t being touted as a future star of a top Premier League club.
There’s a lot of excitement about Elliott, who joined from Fulham in the summer, and he’s handled himself well when playing for the senior side.
Elliott was part of the team that were thrashed at Villa Park but he had good moments, forcing a decent save from Orjan Nyland when the game was goalless.
Elliott is the youngest player in Premier League history
GETTY IMAGES - GETTY
16
Elliott is the youngest player in Premier League history

9) Adrian

Liverpool’s spending in the summer was pretty low key but Adrian has played a lot more than anyone would have expected.
Alisson Becker picked up an injury in their Premier League opener against Norwich meaning the Reds’ second choice goalkeeper was drafted into the first-team.
Adrian has made 13 appearances so far this term, the highlight coming in Liverpool’s Super Cup triumph over Chelsea where he saved a spot-kick from Tammy Abraham to give the Reds the win on penalties.
His exploits prompted Klopp to channel his inner-Rocky Balboa in appreciation of ‘Adrrriiannnn’. Sensational stuff.
Adrian was Liverpool’s hero in the Super Cup
GETTY - CONTRIBUTOR
16
Adrian was Liverpool’s hero in the Super Cup

8) Naby Keita

A deal was agreed to bring Keita to Anfield in August 2017 but he spent one more year at Red Bull Leipzig before officially joining.
Liverpool spent £54m on the midfielder in a summer which saw the club go all-out on transfers. More on that later.
He’s not lived up to his billing just yet but Keita has had bad luck with picking up niggly injuries.
The Guinea international does have three goals in his last three Liverpool appearances so it could finally be about to happen for him after a couple of false dawns previously. It’s crucial he stays fit though.
Keita may finally be making his mark at Liverpool
AFP OR LICENSORS
16
Keita may finally be making his mark at Liverpool

7) Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Signed on deadline day from Arsenal in the summer of 2017, Oxlade-Chamberlain has been a welcome addition that Liverpool fans probably never expected.
He took time to settle into Klopp’s system but was in really good form in the second half 2017/18 before sustaining a bad knee injury during a Champions League tie against Roma in April 2018.
It ruled Oxlade-Chamberlain out for pretty much all of 2018/19 but he has made it back to full fitness this term.
The midfielder has five goals in 20 appearances for Liverpool in 2019/20.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is constantly pushing for a regular first-team spot
GETTY
16
Oxlade-Chamberlain is constantly pushing for a regular first-team spot

6) Xherdan Shaqiri

The Switzerland international was the cheapest of Liverpool’s four signings in the summer of 2018, joining for a fee of just £13m.
Shaqiri, or ‘Big Shaq’ as his teammates ironically call him, made a decent start to his Anfield career with his best moment in Liverpool colours coming in a win over Manchester United in December 2018.
With the game locked at 1-1, Shaqiri came on in the 70th minute and scored two goals to give Liverpool the three points over their rivals. He also started the Reds’ incredible 4-0 victory over Barcelona in last season’s Champions League semi-finals.
He’s been injured for most of this season but has recently got himself back to full fitness.
Shaqiri scored in Liverpool’s 5-2 win over Everton in December
AFP OR LICENSORS
16
Shaqiri scored in Liverpool’s 5-2 win over Everton in December

5) Fabinho

The midfielder came two days after Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in May 2018 from Monaco for £39m – a huge statement by the club.
And since then, Fabinho has been outstanding at Liverpool, giving the defence the protection they were crying out for the season before.
His contributions are not always noticed but they without question played a huge role in Liverpool amassing 97 points in the Premier League and winning the Champions League last season.
The Brazilian suffered ankle ligament damage in November and is not expected to be back until the new year but Liverpool are managing without him at present.
Fabinho’s only goal for Liverpool this season came in a big match – their win over Manchester City in November
GETTY IMAGES - GETTY
16
Fabinho’s only goal for Liverpool this season came in a big match – their win over Manchester City in November

4) Andy Robertson

His rise from Queen’s Park FC to arguably the best left-back in the world is ‘Roy of the Rovers’ stuff.
But what makes Robertson such a great signing is the cheap price of just £8m Liverpool paid Hull in 2017.
The Scotland captain is an assured defender but also gets forward all the time.
He has a great understanding with Sadio Mane, who has been Liverpool’s best player this season, down the left.
Robertson’s transfer fee is peanuts in today’s market
GETTY IMAGES - GETTY
16
Robertson’s transfer fee is peanuts in today’s market

3) Mohamed Salah

You might think the ‘Egyptian King’ should be No.1 in this list when you consider how outstanding he’s been since joining in 2017.
Salah’s first season was staggering, scoring an incredible 44 goals in all competitions and broke records left, right and centre.
He hasn’t been as spectacular since but still scored 27 last term including a penalty in last season’s Champions League final.
Not bad for a Chelsea reject…
Salah, who was let go by Chelsea, has proved all the doubters wrong in Liverpool colours
AFP OR LICENSORS
16
Salah, who was let go by Chelsea, has proved all the doubters wrong in Liverpool colours

2) Alisson Becker

Liverpool did very well to recruit Fabinho, Shaqiri and Naby Keita in the summer of 2018 but the goalkeeper situation couldn’t be ignored.
But the club found its missing piece of the puzzle when Alisson signed for £67m, a record fee for a keeper at the time.
Now Alisson is between the sticks, Liverpool have a defence that is good enough to be competing for the top prizes.
The Brazilian has good footballing skills and has made countless saves, the best of which coming in Liverpool’s narrow win over Napoli in their final Champions League group match last season.
If that went in, Liverpool would have been playing in the Europa League and who knows where they’d be now.
Alisson was one of seven Liverpool players to make it on this year’s 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist
GETTY IMAGES - GETTY
16
Alisson was one of seven Liverpool players to make it on this year’s 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist

1) Virgil van Dijk

But out on top has to be the big man, Van Dijk.
Liverpool broke the bank to get him in, spending £75m in January 2018. This was a record fee for a defender but Manchester United paying £80m for Harry Maguire has eclipsed that.
Van Dijk won PFA Player of the Year last season
GETTY IMAGES - GETTY
16
Van Dijk won PFA Player of the Year last season
Van Dijk’s impact at Liverpool cannot be overstated. He’s transformed them from an average defence prone to making a mistake to one of the world’s best.
Such was his brilliance, no player even managed to successfully dribble past Van Dijk between March 2018-August 2019.
He was pipped to the Ballon d’Or title by Barcelona legend Lionel Messi this year.
So Van Dijk has to be viewed as Liverpool’s greatest signing under Edwards’ premiership. Maybe one of the greatest signings Liverpool Football Club has ever made.


Comments