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Mo Salah, Andy Robertson and more: Liverpool’s key signings under sporting director Michael Edwards

Sporting director is set to quit the Reds at the close of the season but he leaves quite a legacy.

Michael Edwards has been a key man behind Liverpool's rise to dominance.
He joined the club over 10 years ago, initially as head of analytics, and was appointed the club's sporting director in November 2016.

As part of his role, he oversees the club's overall development which includes player sales, acquisition and retention. Edwards also takes primary responsibility for reviewing and implementing improvements to Liverpool's training ground environment and infrastructure.

Edwards revealed in November that he would be stepping down from his role at the end of the season to be replaced by his assistant Julian Ward.

He leaves quite the legacy, wth Liverpool having been crowned European Champions for a sixth time and broken their Premier League duck with him as sporting director.

Planet Sport looks back at Liverpool's five key signings under Edwards.

Fabinho - Signed from Monaco, summer 2018

Not only was the signing of Fabinho a great bit of business, but the way the deal was negotiated was masterful work from Edwards.

The Brazilian international was signed from Monaco in a deal worth £43milion only three days after Liverpool were defeated in the Champions League final by Real Madrid.

It helped many fans forget about the heartbreaking final loss, but more importantly it showed Liverpool's intent for the forthcoming season - they weren't messing around.

Liverpool got the deal done quickly and it came out of the blue, with local journalists breaking the news only a few hours prior to the club announcing the deal. It also saw them beat Manchester United to the punch, with their Premier League rivals reportedly keen on taking him to Old Trafford.

Since Fabinho joined Liverpool, he has been nothing short of spectacular. In three-and-a-half seasons for the Reds, Fabinho has played 129 Premier League and Champions League games.

Whether as a deep-lying midfielder or as a centre-back, his performance levels never drop. Liverpool are quite simply a better team when he's in the side.

Andy Robertson - Signed from Hull, summer 2017

One of the first names that comes to mind when bargain and transfer are mentioned in the same breath.

In the summer of 2017, Liverpool were looking for an upgrade at left-back as they prepared to re-enter the Champions League. Monaco's Benjamin Mendy and Napoli's Faouzi Ghoulam were reportedly atop Liverpool's wishlist, but Edwards and his scouting department opted to sign Robertson from Championship-bound Hull City for a giveaway of £8million.

And, although he didn't earn a starting place straight away, once he got his chance, he took it with both hands.

Robertson has been Liverpool's starting left-back since early 2018 and remains a key part of Jurgen Klopp's plans.

Widely regarded as one of the left-back in the world, the 27-year-old's crossing ability and overlapping runs have seen him amass an incredible 40 assists in 191 games for the Reds.

Robertson's emergence also earned him the captain's armband for the Scotland national team.

Not bad for someone who was playing in the third tier of Scottish soccer only eight years ago.

Alisson - Signed from Roma, summer 2018

For a long time, a new goalkeeper was high on the wish list for Liverpool.
Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius failed to convince and the club knew they needed a significant upgrade if they wanted to bring home silverware.

After Karius' calamity filled performance in the Champions League final, the Reds replaced him that same summer, signing Brazilian international Alisson from Roma.

The deal was reportedly £67million, which at the time was the record transfer fee for a goalkeeper.

Edwards was reportedly considering Lazio's Thomas Strakosha over Alisson as a cheaper alternative, However, the Brazilian has proven money well spent, as he has revolutionised Liverpool's defence.

In his first season, he played a major part in the team's Champions League triumph. Without his heroic last-minute save in Liverpool's final group game against Napoli, the Reds would never have made the knockout stage, never mind win the tournament.
Alisson was named as Best FIFA Goalkeeper in 2019 and has been named to the FIFA World XI twice, in 2019 and 2020.
In the summer he signed a six-year deal with Liverpool which ties him to the club until 2027.

Virgil van Dijk - Signed from Southampton, winter 2018

When the news broke that Liverpool had signed Van Dijk for a whopping £75million, Southampton looked the only winners in the deal.

However, looking back four years on, it's clear that Edwards knew exactly what he was doing. Edwards and Liverpool had first tried to sign the Dutch international in the summer of 2017. However, Southampton accused the Merseyside club of negotiating with the player illegally. Despite the controversy, Edwards did not give up on Van Dijk, and still made it his priority to secure his signature in the next available window.

At the time, the fee was the highest ever for a defender. But despite the weight of expectation, Van Dijk hit the ground running, scoring on his debut against Everton at Anfield to send his new side through to the next round of the FA Cup.

In Van Dijk's first full season, Liverpool conceded the fewest number of goals in the top flight (22) and lost only one game, finishing on 97 points.

Although they ultimately ended up second behind Manchester City, Van Dijk and Liverpool still ended the season with a trophy thanks to a Champions League victory over Tottenham.

Van Dijk was awarded the 2019 PFA Players' Player of the Year and the 2019 UEFA Men's Player of the Year Award.
An absolute colossus at the back, his influence was never clearer than last season when Liverpool's title defence faltered in his injury-enforced absence.

Mo Salah - Signed from Roma, summer 2017

When Liverpool announced the signing of Mohamed Salah on June 23, 2017, the reaction from Liverpool fans and soccer fans in general was mixed.

Edwards and Liverpool had been linked with a number of attacking options, including Leverkusen's Julian Brandt, and Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette and Salah's first stint in the Premier League had been one to forget.

Salah played only seven games for Chelsea and looked out of place and low on confidence.

But after spending three years in Italy with Fiorentina and Roma, Salah was revitalised, joining the Reds for £34million.
In his first season with the Reds, he scored 32 league goals to win the Golden Boot, PFA Players' Player of the Year, FWA Footballer of the Year and the FIFA Puskas Award.
Not only does he have electric speed and an elite finishing ability, but he is also a team player who can create goals too.
This season, the 29-year-old leads the Premier League for goals and assists and he now has 106 goals and counting for Liverpool. Proof that Edwards saw something in the Egyptian that very few others did.
They all see it now, however.

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