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Michael Edwards has cracked a joke about his dog while subtly revealing who his favourite Liverpool player is.
Edwards announced on Wednesday that he will step down from his role as sporting director at the end of the season, with Julian Ward stepping up to take his place.
His departure will bring to an end his 11-year stay at the club which has seen him progress through the ranks as head of analytics, director of technical performance and technical director.
During his time at the club, Edwards has been instrumental in Liverpool’s recruitment policy, overseeing many successful signings, including Alisson, Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Thiago Alcantara, and Diogo Jota.
The 42-year-old therefore has a decent track record in the transfer market, but there is one player who holds a special place in his heart – and with his family.
He wrote in an open letter on theclub website: “One of the other questions I always get asked is ‘Who was/is your favourite player?’
“That’s a really difficult question to answer so I won’t even try. All I will say is my dog is called Bobby.”
While the Anfield faithful have chants for all of their most cherished players, Firmino is particularly popular among fans.
The Brazilian striker joined Liverpool in June 2015 for an initial fee of £21million, which later reached £28m, from German club Hoffenheim.
HAVE YOUR SAY! Will Liverpool miss Michael Edwards? Comment below.
At the time he was Liverpool’s second most expensive player, behind Andy Carroll, but the transfer fee certainly appears money well spent now.
Firmino has contributed 93 goals and 70 assists in 303 appearances for Liverpool, with his work off the ball key to their Premier League and Champions League wins.
Edwards has often been closely associated with analytics and a statistics-based approach to recruitment, but he has used his announcement as a chance to dispel a few myths about his work.
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“Contrary to popular belief, we don’t sign players off ‘stats’ but the information provided from their research does play a crucial role in our decision-making,” he said.
“Whether it is video, written reports, data, background checks or good old-fashioned scouting from the stand, it all goes into the big decision-making melting pot.
“And when you make a decision, all this information allows you to do is mitigate the risk you are taking.”
- Mohamed Salah
- Sadio Mane
- Virgil van Dijk
- Liverpool FC
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