10 of Michael Edwards’ best transfer deals as Liverpool sporting director
Michael Edwards established himself as one of the best sporting directors in world football at Liverpool, meaning news of his appointment at Manchester United will hit the Reds hard.
Edwards stepped down from his role at Anfield when his contract expired at the end of the 2021-22 season and has now received a bumper offer to take the same role 40 miles away at Old Trafford.
We’ve taken a look at 10 of his best pieces of transfer business since becoming sporting director in November 2016.
Despite suffering relegation to the Championship with Hull City in 2016-17, Robertson did enough to impress the bosses at Liverpool.
In a summer that saw Chelsea sign Alvaro Morata for £60million, the Scotland international was snapped up by the Reds for a measly £8million.
He has since developed into arguably the best left-back in the world, registering over 35 Premier League assists for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Klopp reportedly made Julian Brandt his preferred target in the summer of 2017, only for Edwards to convince the German that Salah was the better option.
The Egypt international was recruited from Roma for £34 million and hit the ground running, breaking the record for most goals in a 38-game Premier League campaign with 32 in 2017-18.
To date, Salah’s record for Liverpool stands at 121 goals in 191 Premier League appearances, and 165 goals in 270 games in all competitions.
It’s safe to say that Edwards made the right call on this one.
Liverpool tried everything to keep Coutinho at Anfield but eventually agreed to sell him to Barcelona for a staggering £142million in January 2018.
He failed to live up to expectations at Camp Nou and the Spanish side eventually offloaded him to Aston Villa this summer.
Liverpool, meanwhile, improved following the sale of Coutinho, with the profits from that deal allowing them to strengthen in their remaining areas of weakness.
Virgil van Dijk
After missing out on Van Dijk in the summer of 2017, Liverpool decided to wait six months to get their man rather than turn to a different target, and their patience has certainly been justified.
The centre-back joined the Reds in a £75million deal and played a vital role in turning the Reds from entertaining pretenders to major title winners.
Just go and watch highlights of the 2020-21 season if you want to really understand Van Dijk’s impact at Liverpool.
Garth Crooks on @VirgilvDijk:
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) August 31, 2021
After impressing during Monaco’s run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2016-17, Fabinho completed a £39million move to Liverpool in 2018.
He initially struggled to settle into life at Anfield, but once things clicked it became apparent that the Brazil international was the missing piece of Liverpool’s midfield jigsaw.
The 28-year-old helped the Reds win the Champions League in his debut season and followed that up with the Premier League title a year later.
Having watched Loris Karius’ performance in the 2018 Champions League final, Liverpool returned to Roma and signed Alisson for £66.8million.
The Brazil international has more than lived up to his price tag, establishing himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
He has made some crucial saves for the Reds in recent seasons but let’s not forget that injury-time winner against West Brom in May 2021.
Seeing as Alisson has just signed a new contract, here is his goal against West Brom that got us into the top four. pic.twitter.com/fRRnB2Ui2Z
— – (@AnfieldRd96) August 4, 2021
Ward only made only three first-team appearances in five and a half years at Anfield and fell to fourth-choice goalkeeper following the arrival of Alisson Becker in 2018.
Yet despite that, and the fact that Leicester City were only signing him as back-up to Kasper Schmeichel, the Foxes agreed to pay the £12.5million asking price.
The Wales international has only just established himself in the Leicester starting XI and Liverpool definitely got the better of the deal.
Elliott came through the Fulham academy and became the youngest-ever Premier League player when he made his debut at 17 in 2019.
After he refused to sign a professional contract with the Cottagers, Liverpool then won the race for his signature and only had to pay an initial £1.5million following a tribunal.
A former Chelsea Academy Player of the Year winner, Solanke joined Liverpool on a free transfer in 2017, although they later had to pay a £3million compensation fee.
Despite the striker scoring just one goal in 27 appearances for Liverpool, Edwards still managed to negotiate a £19million deal to sell him to Bournemouth in January 2019.
He netted just three goals in 42 Premier League appearances for the Cherries and couldn’t prevent their relegation to the Championship in 2020.
Solanke started to rediscover his best form in the second division, and has made a decent start to Bournemouth’s current Premier League campaign, but that doesn’t make him worth £19million.
Liverpool had high hopes for Brewster but a £23.5million offer from Sheffield United proved too tempting for a player that had only featured on the periphery.
He is yet to justify that fee and ended up making 30 appearances without registering a goal or assist as the Blades finished bottom of the Premier League in 2020-21.
The 22-year-old still has time on his side and could turn things around but it currently seems like Liverpool definitely got the better end of that deal.