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Transfer Window Speculation

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They're going to struggle to get it in in 2022 you'd think. At some point it'll clash with their World Cup qualifiers given they've got a group stage followed by a play off round to get through, while finishing off the AFCON qualifiers and having actual AFCON, in what appears to to be just over a year. Wouldn't surprise me if it just gets cancelled and it's gone until 2023. 

Edited by Hightown Phil

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Good piece from The Athletic on Edwards, turns out Rodgers was full of s*** over the Balotelli transfer 

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Perhaps the best place to start is the story Harry Redknapp tells when he is asked about Michael Edwards and the remarkable chain of events that has taken a frustrated IT teacher from Peterborough to a position of power and influence at the football club whose supporters now have a banner pronouncing, “Champions of Everything”.

Redknapp had been Portsmouth manager when Edwards — or “Eddie”, as he is commonly known — got his big break there and, over a decade after they last worked together, got back in touch a while ago to request a favour.

“I’d met a guy who had only a few weeks to live,” Redknapp says. “This poor guy was in his early 40s. He had been married only a couple of years and he knew he was dying. Someone had got in touch and said, ‘Harry, he’d love to meet you. He’s football mad.’ So I went round to his house one Sunday and spent a couple of hours with him, his wife and his in-laws. He was an amazing boy, so strong, and he told me it was his dream to go to Liverpool.

“I rang Michael Edwards and, straight away, he went, ‘Harry, not a problem’. I arranged a car, I got a driver. Eddie sorted everything else. There wasn’t any of the, ‘Oh, Harry, I’m sorry, mate, you know how busy I am’, that you can get sometimes.

“He put himself out, he organised the full day and treated him incredibly. We have to remember we are in a position where we can make a difference to people’s lives. Sadly, this guy died four or five weeks later. Eddie had got him into the directors’ box, introduced him to everybody — Kenny Dalglish, Jurgen Klopp — the boy had the best day of his life. Loved every minute of it.”

It was all done with no publicity, of course, because Edwards has a strict understanding with Liverpool that, as far as the media are concerned, he would rather keep everyone a long arm’s distance away and speak about as regularly as Chief Bromden does in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

Edwards is the sporting director who identified Klopp as an ideal manager-in-waiting and has been responsible for bringing in, among others, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Alisson and Virgil van Dijk.

It is the collection of players that has helped Liverpool end their 30-year wait for a league title and turned a drifting giant into the champions of England, Europe and the world, surpassing even the achievements of the club’s sides from the 1970s and 1980s.

Edwards is the University of Sheffield graduate who convinced Liverpool about the potential of Andy Robertson at Hull City to flourish at a higher level and become one of the outstanding full-backs in world football.

Yet the paradox is that Edwards does not even have a Wikipedia page. Type in his name and, until recently, the first result was that of an ex-pro from Notts County.

Edwards has kept so far under the radar that for a long time the only photograph of him in the media’s possession was from a Just Giving fundraising page for the 2018 Manchester half-marathon, for which the list of donations included £5,000 from a certain Mr J Klopp. Edwards’ primary concern when he was promoted to his current role, in November 2016, was the extra publicity it might bring. And the paradox is that he can still walk around Anfield without anybody recognising him.

“He isn’t the most stereotypical football director,” Redknapp says. “In fact, he is probably the most un-stereotypical. You won’t often see him in a suit. He isn’t a go-getting, big-personality kind of guy. You look at him, he used to have this spiky hair… a very inoffensive, quiet guy. You’d probably think he should be standing behind the goal.”

Others talk about a fiercely driven, intelligent and ambitious individual who possesses the streak of ruthlessness that is sometimes required to reach the top in football.

Edwards has upset a few people along the way and was one of the three members of staff from Anfield cited in the alleged hacking of Manchester City’s scouting system in 2013. Liverpool offered a £1 million settlement, including a legally binding confidentiality agreement, to stop the matter going any further and Edwards’ presence is one of the reasons why relations between the two clubs are so strained at boardroom level.

Not that Edwards will have cared too greatly about that detail when he and others from Liverpool’s scouting department gathered at a colleague’s house last Thursday to watch Manchester City surrender the title with a 2-1 defeat at Chelsea.

Edwards was a youth and reserve-team footballer at Peterborough United who never fully made the grade and, released at the age of 18, trained to be a teacher before getting his first job in a local high school. He is the lorry driver’s son who grew up in Fareham, between Southampton and Portsmouth, in Hampshire and developed a fetish for numbers and statistics. The “laptop guru,” as he was called in one headline.

When the final whistle sounded at Stamford Bridge to confirm Liverpool as Premier League champions, Tom Werner pulled out his mobile phone to get in touch with the relevant people.

The first person to receive a congratulatory text from Liverpool’s chairman was not Klopp, it was Edwards.

As Jurgen Klopp flashed that considerable smile, champagne bottles were uncorked and Kenny Dalglish’s phone started bleeping with text messages while he was trying to conduct a live television interview, it could feel like a trick of the imagination that Liverpool gave serious consideration to hiring Eddie Howe rather than the German who, according to Steven Gerrard, now deserves a statue outside Anfield.

Howe was on a three-man shortlist with Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti for the manager’s position and it was part of Edwards’ job, then as Liverpool’s technical director, to determine who had the outstanding credentials to replace Brendan Rodgers.

Ancelotti, who now finds himself on the other side of Stanley Park with Everton, passed all the criteria in terms of his record in the Champions League and the statistics relating to his teams at clubs including Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea and Real Madrid. But his transfer record counted against him because the check system devised by Edwards and Liverpool’s analysts deliberately placed less emphasis on a manager’s recruitment in his first year.

Their theory was that a manager might not have the ultimate say when it came to transfer business during his first season but, in years two, three, four and five, that manager’s influence would be greater and signings would not happen without his input.

A lot of Ancelotti’s recruits were deemed to be on the older side and that jarred with Liverpool’s thinking. Edwards and the hierarchy wanted players aged 26 or under who were approaching their peak years and would still have a re-sale value three or four years later.

Howe’s reputation at Bournemouth was for developing younger players and playing attractive football and, though his stock might have fallen recently, this was a time when he was considered for lots of elite jobs and being acclaimed as a future England manager.

He had also been a player at Portsmouth when Edwards was working there at the start of the century but their friendship never came into it because, if there is one thing to know about the current Liverpool regime, it is that they do not let sentimentality influence their decision-making.

Howe did not have the experience of competing in the Champions League whereas Klopp ticked every box in terms of achievement, transfer business and playing style. Edwards made his recommendation to Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), and left them to get on with the business of making it happen.

Since then, perhaps the best indicator of Edwards’ influence is to consider Klopp’s line-up for his first Liverpool game, a goalless draw at Tottenham Hotspur on October 17, 2015, and compare it to the team that can expect a guard of honour on Thursday from Manchester City, the now-deposed champions.

Simon Mignolet was in goal behind a back four of Nathaniel Clyne, Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho and Alberto Moreno. Lucas Leiva, Emre Can and James Milner formed the midfield and the front three had Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho either side of Divock Origi. Liverpool’s substitutes were Adam Bogdan, Kolo Toure, Jerome Sinclair, Joao Carlos Teixeira, Connor Randall, Jordon Ibe and Joe Allen, who never did fulfil Rodgers’ description as “the Welsh Xavi”.

Edwards had to help Klopp build virtually an entirely new XI but, first of all, he had to get the confidence of the manager and create a relationship where they fully understood one another.

“It is a very good relationship,” Klopp says. “He is a very thoughtful person. We don’t always have to have the same opinion from the first second of a conversation, but we finish pretty much all our talks with the same opinion. Or similar opinions.”

It was Edwards, for example, who pressed Liverpool to sign Salah and convinced Klopp to disregard the fact the Egyptian had struggled previously with Chelsea. Klopp’s initial preference was said to be Bayer Leverkusen’s Julian Brandt, a future Germany international he knew well from his time managing Borussia Dortmund. Edwards persisted. Klopp listened, took it in and placed his trust in his colleague.

Edwards’ success cannot just be measured, however, by the players Liverpool have signed because some of their more spectacular business has revolved around the ones they have moved out.

Coutinho’s £142 million transfer to Barcelona was the biggest deal but Liverpool also raised significant sums by offloading fringe players. Ibe and Brad Smith went to Bournemouth for a combined £21 million. Kevin Stewart moved to Hull for £8 million. Leicester City paid £12.5 million for Danny Ward. Sakho went to Crystal Palace for £26 million and when the two sides met at Anfield last week he was the player many suspected Klopp’s team targeted as their “pressing victim”, namely the opponent who might be vulnerable to being chased down. Liverpool won 4-0 and it was noted in Anfield’s corridors of power that Sakho had looked “terrified”.

All this is masterminded, to a large degree, from Edwards’ first-floor office up the stairs at the Melwood training ground then along the corridor on the right. His door is always open. It is directly opposite Klopp’s office and the poster-sized “Class of Melwood” picture on the wall is because every year the entire staff — from the security and kitchen workers to the first-team players and manager — pose for an all-in-it-together photograph.

In his trade, Edwards is respected by his peers and one rival sporting director says he has become one of the most “prominent and eloquent” voices at the Premier League technical director meetings which take place every six weeks: “He is good at his job. He always has a clear position and he sets out why. He always cuts very strong financial deals for Liverpool and there have been times we couldn’t find a middle ground. They drive a hard bargain and the proof is in the pudding of his success.”

Edwards, left, Klopp and FSG president Mike Gordon (Photo: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Edwards and Klopp, the older man by 12 years, are described by one colleague as “kindred spirits”, freely wandering in and out of each other’s offices. During the transfer window, Edwards’ television will be on and showing the rolling news coverage. The two men swap opinions, they debate and sometimes they disagree. They also spend many lunchtimes playing paddle tennis after getting hooked on the sport during a winter training camp in Tenerife. They even arranged for a court to be built at Melwood and it will be the same when the club move to their new £50 million training ground in Kirkby.

Edwards ran the London marathon last year with three colleagues to raise more than £57,000 for Prostate Cancer UK. All four wore specially designed Liverpool shirts bearing the No 19 (to signify the calendar year, not the fact Liverpool were aiming for their 19th title). Mike Gordon, FSG’s president, donated $5,500, “as the son of a cancer victim, thank you”. Werner gave $5,000. Jorge Mendes, the “superagent”, €1,200. Ramy Abbas, agent to Salah, added £1,000. Jordan Henderson (£5,000), Andy Robertson (£1,000), Trent Alexander-Arnold (£500) and Daniel Sturridge (£1,000) all contributed. Gordon Taylor, the Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive, put in £250. Edwards himself donated £3,000.

All of which demonstrates a level of togetherness that was not so evident, perhaps, before Klopp was in the building.

Brendan Rodgers, the previous manager, saw Edwards as a threat to his authority at a time when the workings of Liverpool’s “transfer committee” had created all sorts of politics behind the scenes. It was an awkward title and an awkward time. Rodgers was not a fan of the set-up and it became such a big issue it was a permanent source of regret inside Anfield that the club’s American owner, John W Henry, had ever coined the name.

In reality, it was the kind of operation that could have been found at just about every major club, where there was an understanding that the manager was too busy to go on overseas scouting missions himself and become embroiled in negotiations that could take months. Edwards was part of a group that included then chief executive, Ian Ayre, along with the analytics team, senior coaching and scouting staff and sometimes representatives of the club’s commercial department. “It is a group that makes sure a deal works for everyone,” one of the relevant people explains, “rather than an individual making a big call because their mate, who is an agent, has recommended some player.”

Rodgers still had the power to veto transfers and, early on, was probably entitled to question Edwards’ knowledge. Liverpool had made a flurry of signings — Iago Aspas, Luis Alberto and Tiago Ilori, to name but three — who passed through Anfield without making a favourable impact. Lazar Markovic was the most expensive failure, costing £20 million, and not everyone appreciated Edwards’ occasionally blunt, very matter-of-fact manner.

Markovic cost Liverpool over £1 million per league appearance (Photo: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Edwards was trying to push a new way of thinking at a club where they had traditionally relied on old-fashioned methods and, inevitably, there was bound to be some resistance.

A number of scouts were moved out, some unhappily. Mel Johnson, the talent-spotter who had recommended Henderson, claimed in one interview that Liverpool missed out on Dele Alli because of the club relying on their “computer and stats-led approach”.

The game, Johnson complained, was “not played on a computer”, pointing out that experienced football people were being edged out. “Some of these IT guys have come straight out of university and landed jobs at top clubs, despite having no football background whatsoever.”

Associates of Edwards say he was prepared for, and unmoved by, the opposition. “You cannot have a closed mind under Michael,” one says. “But to be clear: it is not a war between old and new. Liverpool’s biggest strength is they move with the times in terms of analytics but they also pay attention to old-fashioned scouting, too. They encourage people to go to games. It is a middle ground.”

Another adds: “Rather than embracing the new concepts, there was that reluctance to move with the times. That was one aspect in terms of the resistance to change.”

Rodgers never put it quite that bluntly but he, too, found it difficult to trust Edwards and did not try particularly hard to conceal the fact.

The politics eventually contributed to Rodgers losing his job and, five years on, he might have to accept that he underestimated his former colleague, particularly when it comes to the £29 million signing of Roberto Firmino from Hoffenheim. Rodgers had not been keen on Firmino whereas Edwards and the scouting team were certain the Brazilian would be an ideal wearer of Liverpool’s colours. Chief scout Barry Hunter had tracked him in Germany and the numbers showed how, by being involved in 45 league goals in the two seasons up to 2015, Firmino was the second-highest performing Brazilian in Europe. He was second only to Neymar. Rodgers remained unconvinced and, to begin with, Firmino was used on the right wing.

Everything came to a head with the Mario Balotelli signing and it remains a source of astonishment inside Anfield that Rodgers gambled his position on a player Jose Mourinho once described as “unmanageable”.

Luis Suarez had been sold to Barcelona and, with a week to go before the new season, a training-ground match had made it painfully clear that Rickie Lambert was short of the level Liverpool wanted. Balotelli was available. Samuel Eto’o, too. Loic Remy had failed a medical and Rodgers cranked up the pressure internally.

“He (Rodgers) was wielding his veto power a little bit,” one person with knowledge of the deal recalls. “So Liverpool said to him, ‘OK, fine.’ That (Balotelli) was not a deal Liverpool wanted to do but he insisted on it. Basically, it got to the point where there were a few transfers in which Brendan said, ‘It is my way or the highway. I need this player and you need to back me as manager. We have lost Suarez, so this is what we need to do.’

“They (Liverpool) said, ‘OK, that is fine, but under our model if we all f*** up together on a few transfers, it is everyone’s responsibility and we share that. If you tell us you want to take the decisions, then you will have to take the responsibility for that.’ He went, ‘Yep, fine, I will do that.’ The next season was not great and he ended up getting sacked.

“Some extremely senior sources were pretty adamant they would not have sacked him for the results that season if they had shared the responsibility more for transfers.”

When Barry Fry is asked if he has any particular memories of Michael Edwards, the former Peterborough manager has to apologise.

“I’m embarrassed to say no,” Fry, now the League One side’s director of football, tells The Athletic. “This is my 25th year at the club and I don’t remember the boy at all, I’m sorry.”

Edwards had been part of a junior football academy in Southampton before being recommended to Peterborough for their youth system, going on to sign a two-year apprenticeship at London Road.

“Probably not the most talented, but he worked hard,” is the verdict of one former team-mate. “A proper squad player, who made the best of what he’d got. He was never going to be a star but he was always quite dependable. And very clever. He was probably old for his time, the way he thought about everything and the way he spoke. You could tell he had a good head on his shoulders.”

Edwards was a right-back who would occasionally be moved into a holding midfield role and, though he was not regarded as loud or a shouter, there was one occasion when he turned on two team-mates and accused them of thinking they were “big-time”.

“There were two colleges in the area,” another former Peterborough player says. “Some of us — the ones who never got the better qualifications — went to Huntingdon College. Michael went to Cambridge to do leisure and tourism with the more intelligent lads, one day a week. Academically, he was very able. And on the pitch, you could see he understood the game.”

Ultimately, though, Edwards left Peterborough without making a first-team appearance and had to make a new career for himself. He went back to college and enrolled for university, obtaining a degree in business management and informatics. He returned to Peterborough to start his first teaching job but colleagues say he missed being around football and was not enthused by his new profession.

His breakthrough came in 2003 when Portsmouth agreed to take on Prozone, the football data company. Other clubs had already signed up and Simon Wilson, one of Edwards’ former Peterborough team-mates, was in the relevant department up the road at Southampton.

“I said to Simon we had won a contract with Portsmouth and needed an analyst,” Barry McNeill, then Prozone’s business development manager, says. “He rolled off a few names and said, ‘There’s one guy I know who’s probably not happy where he is, why don’t you have a chat with him?’”

Edwards was in his early 20s. “We found him working as an IT teacher,” McNeill says. “He clearly had pretty low motivation for that vocation. I interviewed him at a service station between Peterborough and the M1. I explained Prozone, showed him the technology and within a month he was on-site at Portsmouth’s training ground.”

Though Edwards might not have enjoyed teaching, McNeill thinks the experience hardened him for the football business. “The first few years (of teaching) are the toughest because you are totally out of your depth. You need a spine. That was probably great preparation.”

This was a time when data was still relatively new to football and, all these years later, it is strange to hear one of Edwards’ fellow analysts say “it was only The Sun on a Monday that had passing and possession stats”.

Redknapp had been persuaded by his assistant, Jim Smith, that Prozone was worth a go. Smith had been the first-ever manager to take it on at Derby County. Steve McClaren, one of Smith’s assistants, then took it to Manchester United. Sam Allardyce, then at Bolton Wanderers, was another advocate. And, as soon as word got out that Sir Alex Ferguson was using it at Old Trafford, other clubs started to follow.

“I would be in Sam’s (Allardyce) office after games,” McNeill says. “If they had beaten Portsmouth, Sam would say to Harry, ‘What the f*** are you doing? Why have you not got this? Why don’t you have it? It is as expensive as your cheapest squad player.’ He would almost embarrass people to jump on the bandwagon. Harry would have taken a lot more of that from his peers and Jim Smith would have been having a word in his ear.”

Even so, it took a while for Redknapp to get to grips with it.

“There is a famous story where ‘Eddie’ is trying to get through to Harry,” one of Edwards’ former associates says. “This is folklore in analyst circles. Harry said, ‘Does your computer say we are going to win today?’ Eddie said, ‘Yes,’ quite flippantly. They lost and Harry quipped, ‘Maybe your computer can play next time.’ Nobody even knows if it is true, but we all repeat it.”

Smith, left, convinced Redknapp that Prozone was the future (Photo: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

In Edwards’ early days, Redknapp called to ask why he could not get anything out of a CD-ROM filled with player data. It turned out Redknapp had put it into the CD player of his car.

Edwards had his own office and was of an age when he could mix with the players without it seeming unusual. “On the team bus, for example, he would be with the lads and we would play Mario Kart,” Gary O’Neil, their former midfielder, says. “You might have an eight-person league and Ed would be in it. He didn’t overstep the line, though. He wouldn’t be on lads’ nights out because he was, technically, staff. We were good friends and he came to my wedding.”

O’Neil remembers Redknapp never previously being stats-orientated — “we basically never used them at all” — but something must have gone right because Edwards followed the manager to Spurs in 2009.

“Michael came to Portsmouth as a very young analyst,” Redknapp says. “I remember a massive game, the year we stayed up (2005-06), at Fulham. We were second-bottom and he put this video together to play on the coach. He was scared to show it because it took the mickey out of me. I thought it was a great laugh. He was a smashing lad and when I went to Tottenham I took him with me.”

Edwards stayed at White Hart Lane for almost two years before Damien Comolli, then Liverpool’s director of football, headhunted him as part of FSG’s instructions to implement a new data-led approach, in keeping with their management of baseball’s Boston Red Sox.

Comolli had previously been at Spurs, whose chairman, Daniel Levy, was then further dismayed to discover Liverpool had taken away another of their key men.

Spurs had an exclusive agreement at the time with a data company called Decision Technology and Liverpool wanted to see if they could muscle in. Edwards, however, persuaded his new bosses to leave Decision Technology alone and instead target Dr Ian Graham, the data scientist who helped to run their operation.

The two men were on the same flight to an analytics conference in Boston, Massachusetts. It was an eight-hour flight and, 37,000 feet in the air, Edwards convinced Graham to join him as Liverpool’s head of research. The task was aided by the fact that Graham is a boyhood Liverpool supporter. Graham, who holds a Cambridge doctorate in theoretical physics, informed Spurs when he returned to England. He now heads up Liverpool’s research and analytics department, based at the club’s training ground, and informing their decisions across recruitment, sport science, medical and finance departments. Graham works alongside Will Spearman, a former Harvard graduate student who was previously with the European Organisation for Nuclear Research.

Daniel Finkelstein, who collaborated with Graham and Decision Technology for his analytical newspaper column the Fink Tank, explains how Liverpool’s owner and Edwards centred their plans on recruiting Graham: “When John W Henry of FSG bought Liverpool, he came to the offices of Decision Technology. John wanted to hire Decision Technology for Liverpool but he could not do that as they had a contract with Tottenham. Ian took the job himself with everyone’s blessing. Ian had been working on modelling for 10 years before he joined Liverpool and they secured an amazing talent.”

On the night Liverpool’s first title since 1990 was confirmed, Edwards was having a socially-distanced gathering with colleagues from their scouting and analytics staff. Julian Ward, who manages Liverpool’s loan deals, hosted the event to show Chelsea vs Manchester City on a large screen in his garden. They celebrated together: the team behind the team.

Much like Liverpool supporters across the country, they soon switched to LFC TV and watched the three-minute montage the club had prepared for this moment. Klopp could be heard explaining the meaning of Liverpool’s anthem, You’ll Never Walk Alone. His colleagues listened, taking it all in.

Presumably, if Edwards could ever be persuaded to do an interview, he would pay tribute to Graham and a department that also includes chief scout Hunter, head of recruitment Dave Fallows and head of football projects David Woodfine.

Fallows is another Prozone graduate who cut his teeth under Allardyce, while Woodfine is a long-serving associate and worked alongside Edwards at Portsmouth. Hunter, Fallows and Ward were previously colleagues at Manchester City and were recruited by Edwards after he was tasked by the Liverpool ownership to construct the club’s recruitment department in 2012. Edwards became Liverpool’s first sporting director in 2016, a year into Klopp’s reign, after impressing FSG president Mike Gordon in previous roles as the head of analytics and technical director.

It has been a remarkable success, underpinned by this extraordinary statistic: Liverpool’s net transfer spend of £92.4 million from the last five years is less than Watford’s, not even half that of Brighton & Hove Albion or Aston Villa and a fair bit behind Mike Ashley’s Newcastle United. There is only Crystal Palace, Sheffield United, Southampton and Norwich City with a lower net spend in that time. Manchester City’s total is £505.6 million. Manchester United’s £378.9 million.

“Their (Liverpool’s) recent record is ridiculous, really,” one person with inside knowledge of analytics says. “They have barely had a failed signing. I don’t think that can continue, I don’t think anyone is that good. If you get 15 out of 15 transfers right, it can’t always be that way. He (Edwards) is over-performing and it will regress to a mean at some point.”

It is certainly a far cry from the time, in 2017, when an online petition was set up by a Liverpool fan campaigning for Edwards to be sacked. The petition rustled up 36 votes and the first comment — “he’s useless, just useless” — has not aged well.

It was Edwards who insisted when Barcelona bought Coutinho that a one-off clause was written into the deal to stipulate that the Catalan club would have to pay a £100 million premium to sign any other Liverpool player over the following two years.

Colleagues talk about the period in 2018 when Edwards had it in mind that Real Madrid, their opponents in that season’s Champions League final, might increasingly be attracted to the idea of signing Salah, Firmino or Sadio Mane. Liverpool’s response was to tie all three to new contracts, none with release clauses.

Edwards was unflinching when Emre Can, coming to the end of his contract, told the club he would sign a new one but wanted a release clause in it. There was a stand-off. Edwards refused to budge and Can was allowed to leave on a free transfer rather than the club setting a precedent.

What will never change is Edwards’ reticence over letting us hear what his voice sounds like.

“I didn’t even realise how well he had done,” one former Peterborough team-mate says. “Then I saw something about him on television and, ‘Oh my God, that’s him… That’s him at Liverpool!”

“You’d never imagine the guy sat in the tiny Prozone portakabin at Portsmouth would go on to be the guy who plays such a big role at the biggest club in the world,” O’Neil adds.

Good luck, too, trying to find a photo of Edwards with the Champions League trophy from the sweet-scented night in the Wanda Metropolitano when Liverpool became six-time European Cup winners, adding Madrid, 2019, to the list of Istanbul, 2005, as well as Rome, 1977 and 1984, plus Wembley, 1978, and Paris, 1981.

Klopp invited all his staff onto the podium to join in the celebrations but Edwards preferred to keep to the edges and take photographs of the jubilant Liverpool supporters. He consoled some of his former colleagues from Tottenham, including Levy, and helped to make sure Liverpool’s kitman got a picture with the trophy.

Then the quiet man of Anfield disappeared into the background, just the way he likes it.

 

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Sky saying Man Utd value Sancho at closer to 50m because of coronavirus. 

 

Surely we'd definitely be interested if he went on that ballpark? SURELY? 

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You can only conclude that Edwards has a secret family and does not want them to be able to identify him.

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23 minutes ago, Sion said:

Sky saying Man Utd value Sancho at closer to 50m because of coronavirus. 

 

Surely we'd definitely be interested if he went on that ballpark? SURELY? 

Not a chance he goes for that. Hopefully he stays put for another year. He'll have his pick of clubs then, in a way he won't this summer due to all this.

 

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United want him. He said nah. They release an off the record but clearly on the record statement to Sky saying they'll only pay a figure nowhere near what he's worth. He stays put. Utd belive they've saved face 

We get him in 21

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8 minutes ago, McBain said:

United want him. He said nah. They release an off the record but clearly on the record statement to Sky saying they'll only pay a figure nowhere near what he's worth. He stays put. Utd belive they've saved face 

We get him in 21

And we get him for £51m 

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I'll convince myself we're getting him next summer if he just quietly stays in Germany this summer. All the chatter seems to suggest he's up for the Mancs if they can get CL though. The fee surely scuppers it though.

Edited by Swipe

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I think Dortmund will be keen to sell this summer, despite what they're saying publicly. They're a selling club and he's not signing a new deal. So they won't risk him going down to 12 months left and getting a lot less of a fee. Who's paying 100m for him this time next year if he can negotiate a free transfer 6 months later. 

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They’re insane if they sell him for 50m. Another season with him is worth more even if the pre/covid price tag isn’t gettable next summer either. 

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the ACN confirmed delayed until 2022 - so we're no longer losing Mo & Sadio next Jan

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23 minutes ago, Cobs said:

the ACN confirmed delayed until 2022 - so we're no longer losing Mo & Sadio next Jan

Strong favourites for the title again then.

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4 minutes ago, Dan said:

Strong favourites for the title again then.

my bad that's 2022

Edited by Cobs

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Ok so which one of you posted the "he's useless, just useless" comment?

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4 hours ago, muleskinner said:

Eddie Howe 😬

You don't win any prizes for spotting that odd one out

3 hours ago, Benzo-13 said:

That’s a great article. 

It is but that last line reminds me of Barry Davies talking about Nevil Southall. 

 

 

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18 hours ago, stressederic said:

Interesting snippet in there about Werner. I wanted us to sign him but I do wonder if maybe he failed Klopp’s ‘interview’ in some way. 

I think we probably asked to see how things would go, market-wise, and he lost his patience after being told practically the same thing by Bayern last year.

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Just now, cymrococh said:

I think we probably asked to see how things would go, market-wise, and he lost his patience after being told practically the same thing by Bayern last year.

Yep can see that being the case too

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7 hours ago, stressederic said:

Oh absolutely. But I'm trying to figure out when the last time we clearly didn't close a transfer and it's that chap with his knee injury whose name I can't recall now.

Loic Remy

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24 minutes ago, cymrococh said:

Loic Remy

No not him.

20 minutes ago, Hightown Phil said:

Fekir.

No need for that sort of language either.

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1 hour ago, Boca said:

Ok so which one of you posted the "he's useless, just useless" comment?

Brendan Rodgers 

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