It will be a tall order to fill Michael Edwards’ shoes once he leaves Liverpool.
It was confirmed back in November that he will depart Anfield next summer, having spent over 10 years with the Merseyside club.
The Reds transfer guru has been instrumental in developing Liverpool’s current squad, signing the likes of Fabinho, Mohamed Salah, Alisson and Virgil van Dijk.
Liverpool have also been able to exploit his close ties with the Red Bull group with Naby Keita, Takumi Minamino and Ibrahima Konate joining the club.
Edwards has a great relationship with Salzburg and Leipzig and his knowledge of both teams was evident when he was able to trigger a £7.25millon release clause for Minamino in January 2019, which nobody except him seemed to know about.
Is Michael Edwards’ exit a huge blow for Liverpool? Comment below
It’s one of many things that Edwards brings to the table, but this seems a more considerable blow given who is now in charge of Manchester United.
Edwards would have several dealings with Ralf Rangnick who became the director of football for Leipzig and Salzburg in 2012, playing a significant role in their rise.
He would eventually be promoted to head of sport and development across the Red Bull group before leaving them for Lokomotiv Moscow in 2019.
Now at United, the Old Trafford chiefs will be hoping the German can exploit his expertise of the Red Bull teams given his previous relationship with them.
And Rangnick hasn’t waited around to make use of it as he has reportedly targeted Leipzig star Amadou Haidara prioritising a defensive midfielder in the upcoming window.
Then, there is Erling Haaland.
The Borussia Dortmund striker will be a man in demand in the summer with the Norwegian available for around £65m due to his release clause.
Haaland should have several teams to choose from including Real Madrid, PSG, Manchester City, Liverpool and United but it certainly doesn’t hurt the Red Devils’ chances given that Rangnick has a prior relationship with the player.
For Liverpool, they’ll need to navigate without Edwards at the helm and his ties with Red Bull that have proven to be beneficial.
But his exit is almost a double-edged sword.
Not only will United have the very thing Liverpool have had at their disposal for years, but Edwards will not be there to oppose Rangnick.
Jurgen Klopp has wished Edwards well in his future endeavours, but there is no doubt this departure stings more than most.
He said: “I wish Michael and his wonderful family all the best, for whatever they choose to do next.”
“I know he isn’t leaving immediately or in haste, which is cool, so we still have some time to work together. If we are as fortunate and blessed as we have been so far, maybe we can create more special memories for our club in this remaining time.”
“He has been a constant presence during my period at LFC and his contribution to our success is clear for everyone to see.”