Liverpool have Michael Edwards replacement lined up as sporting director confirms exit

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Liverpool officials have wasted no time in replacing Michael Edwards, with the club confirming Julian Ward will take up the post once Edwards departs. Liverpool and Edwards released a joint statement on Wednesday to confirm the sporting director would leave at the end of the season.

The 42-year-old has handed his notice in with Liverpool, paving the way for Ward, currently assistant sporting director, to step up in his place in the summer.

Ward joined the club last year and has been primed to replace Edwards ever since in a carefully constructed transition period. Klopp is said to have personally advocated for Ward to be given Edwards’ role. 

Edwards joined the club in 2011 and has held the roles of head of analytics, director of technical performance, technical director and sporting director over the past 10 years. He assumed his current role in November 2016, a year after Klopp’s arrival as manager, and has been credited with many of the club’s biggest successes in the transfer market.

Liverpool’s use of analytics has underpinned their strategy during Klopp’s era as manager and the German has been effusive in his praise of Edwards.

“I wish Michael and his wonderful family all the best, for whatever they choose to do next,” he told the club website.

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“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.”

Edwards has not yet announced what he will do after leaving Liverpool, but said he was a “big believer in change” and “had always planned to cap my time at the club to a max of 10 years”.

Klopp has won the Premier League and the Champions League while working with Edwards, but he is confident his departure will not derail the club’s efforts on the pitch.

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“I have complete trust in Mike Gordon and the wider ownership group in their vision for what comes next,” he said.

“Julian and I have worked closely since he became loans and pathway manager, plus even more so in his wider role during the past 12 months.

“We have so many brilliant people here, all of whom contribute to what we have achieved and I have nothing but confidence we will continue to develop, progress and improve as an organisation.”

Liverpool are currently fourth in the Premier League, four points adrift of leaders Chelsea, following their 3-2 defeat by West Ham on Sunday.

They host Arsenal next on November 20 before two further games at Anfield against Porto and Southampton.

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