Julian Ward hasn’t been Liverpool sporting director for very long but he’s already struck some key deals. Here are five statements he’s made.
Julian Ward officially took over from Michael Edwards as Liverpool’s sporting director this summer. Having already worked as the no.2, he’s now in the hotseat in what has become a busy pre-season.
5 deals Julian Ward has struck
Ward could work for another 20 years in the role and still wouldn’t do better than this. Not only has Diaz been a revelation since joining the club but Liverpool did the deal in record time.
Per the Liverpool , Ward led the pursuit on this one despite Edwards still being at the club. Liverpool had wanted to wait until the summer but an offer from Tottenham Hotspur forced a panic.
Fortunately, the Reds were able to secure a sensational player against the odds.
We didn’t have any doubt that Liverpool would remain strong with their negotiating even after Edwards. Tying Salah down to a long-term contract shows that better than anything.
The Egyptian could have left on a free transfer in 2023 and had his pick of clubs. Instead, he’s locked himself to the club for the remainder of his prime. A magnificent deal.
Liverpool got £17m for Neco Williams from Nottingham Forest. Considering he’d only had six months of regular first-team football – and in the Championship at that – we’d call it a fantastic deal.
Edwards struck similar in his time – Rhian Brewster and Dominic Solanke stick out – and it’s nice to see this continue. Liverpool can count on their academy to seriously boost their funds.
How could we not mention the boss? We don’t get the impression that this was a particularly difficult deal to strike but we also thought Klopp was off in 2024.
Instead, he’s going to be at Liverpool for a little longer yet. We’ll thank Ward for getting that one right and making sure the principle reason for the Reds’ success remains in place.
We don’t think anyone should underestimate this new contract. Jota has tied his best years to Liverpool at a time when competition for places is intense. We’re not sure many players would do that – especially when their stock is as high as Jota’s.
Will he even start regularly next season? We’re not so sure but Ward has found a way to convince Jota that he should be at Anfield – the reports he oversaw this one. We couldn’t be happier with that.
And one he couldn’t
Per Fabrizio Romano, Liverpool tried to get one massive deal done this summer – Jude Bellingham. The Reds made some calls but Borussia Dortmund were unwilling to budge.
That doesn’t mean they won’t be back, of course. Liverpool should prioritise Bellingham as their no.1 target next summer but of course, it’s a shame they couldn’t do it this year.
It’s still been a magnificent summer, though, and Ward has done magnificently well. We didn’t even mention Darwin Nunez here (he did cost a fortune, which isn’t quite the statement of the others) but Liverpool improved their squad despite losing Mané.
If this is the start, we can’t wait to see what the future holds.