This week saw the news finally break that Liverpool fans had been dreading. Michael Edwards’ tenure as Sporting Director would be ending when this season concludes.
Edwards has been a superstar for the Reds for many years for his transfer business, managing to receive huge fees for the likes of Dominic Solanke, Rhian Brewster and Christian Benteke, while also pulling off signings for well below their value, such as the Thiago Alcantara deal.
There’s no doubt that Edwards’ success will take some following up, but Liverpool wasted no time in appointing his successor. Julian Ward will take the wheel for next season, being promoted from Edwards’ assistant. He will certainly have learnt from the best!
Duncan Castles believes it was sensible from Liverpool, who have been preparing for this for a while, saying on The Transfer Window Podcast: “He [Julian Ward] was made Assistant Sporting Director in the summer, I think, in the expectation that Edwards was entering his last season. He’s been at Liverpool for seven years, he previously worked for the Portugal national team and Manchester City. Talking to people who have worked with Julian Ward, they describe him as an extremely capable individual, and it does not surprise them that Liverpool have chosen to promote from within, he is a natural successor, who has been increasingly influential and important in Liverpool’s recruitment work over several years.”
Most Liverpool fans will be disappointed in Edwards’ decision to move on, especially given his importance to the current success at the club. It’s worth remembering though, there’s no individual at any club that is bigger than the club itself, although Edwards is a huge miss, there’s nothing to suggest that Ward won’t be able to perform just as well or even better.
Ward has likely been preparing for this role for a long time, and will have picked up as much as he could from Michael Edwards, allowing him to step into the role with ease.