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What Julian Ward & Michael Edwards’ return really says about Klopp – opinion

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What Julian Ward & Michael Edwards’ return really says about Klopp – opinion

FSG are assembling quite the team behind-the-scenes ahead of Arne Slot’s arrival at Liverpool.

Julian Ward, formerly Michael Edwards’ successor in the sporting director role, has been officially brought back to the Anfield-based outfit.

Similarly to his mentor, Fenway have lined up an overarching role that will see him look after the Americans’ football portfolio rather than the Reds exclusively.

Fabrizio Romano relayed the update in question from The Athletic’s James Pearce on X (formerly Twitter).

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What Ward’s arrival says about Jurgen Klopp

Julian Ward (right), Liverpool’s former sporting director

It goes without saying that we’re devastated to lose a manager of Jurgen Klopp’s calibre at Liverpool.

That said, the timing of Ward and Edwards’ return – two previously key members of the backroom staff – just as the 56-year-old is posted to leave is somewhat suspicious.

Our beloved German tactician had insinuated his relationship with the latter was positive in talks that followed the Englishman’s return.

“I think it is a top solution, ­honestly, and our conversation was great. We spoke about a lot of things, about what I think about different things; ­players, situations in the club because I was here all the time when he was not, what did change and what might have to change. It was a really good talk, and it’s top news for the club,” Klopp was quoted as saying by the Guardian.

It shouldn’t be forgotten, however, that the Liverpool boss’ power with regards to transfer decisions was reportedly ‘increasing’ around the time of Ward’s exit, according to David Ornstein (NBC Sports).

It certainly isn’t a coincidence that someone like fan-favourite Darwin Nunez was signed in the summer of 2022. The Times’ Paul Joyce made it very clear this was a Klopp signing with Liverpool’s recruitment team favouring now Chelsea star Christopher Nkunku at the time.

Is it a borderline conspiracy theory to suggest both Julian Ward and Michael Edwards were prepared to come back after Jurgen confirmed his impending exit in the summer? Perhaps… but it does all add up rather neatly, doesn’t it?

A return to Liverpool’s most successful model?

If Jurgen Klopp had had his way… – (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

During the peak years of Liverpool’s transfer business, Edwards and the recruitment team’s influence saw the club sign players like Sadio Mane, Bobby Firmino, Virgil van Dijk, Alisson Becker and Mo Salah.

Famously, Klopp had to be persuaded to back the signing of our Egyptian King – at the time he favoured Julian Brandt!

Not to suggest the former Borussia Dortmund boss should have absolutely no say over transfers. That said, we’d argue the quality of our transfer windows was superior when our talismanic boss’ influence didn’t extend to deciding which names were pursued.

A return to a system where the recruitment team’s influence in transfer decisions outweighs that of the manager, then, can’t be a bad thing in our eyes.

???? EOTK Insider with Neil Jones: Questions Arne Slot must answer at Liverpool, where Amorim went wrong and much more!

The post What Julian Ward & Michael Edwards’ return really says about Klopp – opinion appeared first on The Empire of The Kop.



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