His track record is impressive.

Liverpool’s next sporting director: Richard Hughes’ five best Bournemouth signings ranked

Liverpool have reportedly found their next sporting director – former Bournemouth technical director Richard Hughes.

The Athletic’s David Ornstein reports that Liverpool’s former sporting director Michael Edwards is set to make a sensational return to the club.

Edwards is said to be close to agreeing a senior role with Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group, which would see him “taking oversight of the club’s football operations”. He’s said to be admirer of Hughes, who is expected to fill the sporting director vacancy, having departed Bournemouth earlier this week.

Hughes is highly thought-of in the industry, having overseen the successful appointments of Eddie Howe, Gary O’Neil and Andoni Iraola. He’s also been responsible for a number of eye-catching additions to the Bournemouth squad.

We’ve taken a closer look at five of Hughes’ best signings at Bournemouth.

5. Tyrone Mings

On the one hand, Mings wasn’t a great success at Bournemouth. He struggled for opportunities under Eddie Howe, making just 17 Premier League appearances across three-and-a-half seasons after signing for a not inconsiderable £8million fee from Ipswich Town.

But he nevertheless made them a large profit when he signed for Aston Villa for £20million, moving permanently after helping them get promoted out on loan in 2019-20.

Mings has since proven himself a quality Premier League centre-half and has been capped 18 times for England, demonstrating that Hughes was right to see his potential at Ipswich.

QUIZ: Can you name Liverpool’s 30 most expensive transfers of all time?

4. Arnaut Danjuma

The Netherlands international only spent a season-and-a-half at Dean Court, and his one full season with the club ended in Championship play-off heartbreak, but he was an inspired addition to the Cherries squad.

One of the most talented and entertaining players Bournemouth have been blessed with in recent years, Danjuma was undoubtedly one of the best players in the second tier in the 2020-21 campaign – and vital in the club making the top six under Jonathan Woodgate.

He notched 17 goals in 33 appearances that year, earning a move to Villarreal and banking Bournemouth a healthy profit in the process.

Danjuma’s failed to produce his best football in underwhelming loan stints with Tottenham and Everton since then, but he played a starring role as Unai Emery’s Yellow Submarine made it to the Champions League semi-finals in 2021-22, underlining Hughes’ eye for seeing immense potential.

3. Callum Wilson

Signed from League One Coventry City back in 2014, Wilson scored 20 Championship goals to fire the Cherries to promotion in 2020-21. He went on to score over 40 Premier League goals over the course of five seasons that were frequently interrupted by injury.

His performances in the top flight earned the striker a first Three Lions call-up back in 2018, making him Bournemouth’s first-ever England international.

Wilson departed following relegation in 2020, but he netted them over six times their original investment when Newcastle shelled out £20million on his signature.

2. Dominic Solanke

There was a period in which Solanke could be filed alongside the likes of Jordon Ibe and Rhian Brewster as something of a punchline for Liverpool fans – who couldn’t believe their luck in raising such considerable transfer funds by selling off their young fringe players.

Back in 2019, Hughes defended his record by stating “look at the product after a year and a half rather than a week and a half down the line”.

It’s safe to say that Ibe never quite vindicated his faith, but Solanke is now realising the potential he’d always shown at youth level for club and country.

Written off by many as a flop when he scored just three goals in 42 Premier League appearances for the Cherries, it took a drop down to the Championship to get Solanke to find his feet.

He fired them back to the top flight with 29 goals in 2021-22 and has continued to grow into one of the best No.9s in the country.

Only Erling Haaland, Ollie Watkins and Mohamed Salah have scored more Premier League goals than Solanke this season.

READ: 7 former Liverpool players who are currently thriving away from Anfield

1. Nathan Ake

The Dutch defender wasn’t always brilliant for Bournemouth. Eddie Howe’s side shipped a lot of goals during his three-year stint and ultimately ended up relegated in his final season.

But he made his name at Dean Court, and evidently showed enough about himself to convince Pep Guardiola. Bournemouth’s record sale, the £41million they received from Manchester City helped them rebuild and go again in the Championship.

Ake has gone on to show his class for Guardiola’s all-conquering side. He’s chasing an unprecedented fourth Premier League title in a row and was a big part of last season’s treble, having kept a clean sheet in the Champions League final victory over Inter.

READ NEXT: The £270million profit Liverpool have made due to Michael Edwards

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