Michael Edwards’ best signings at Liverpool – ranked

Jurgen Klopp is justifiably considered the transformative figure at Liverpool since his arrival in 2015, but the scale of the German’s success may not have been possible without Michael Edwards.

The former Liverpool sporting director will return to Liverpool as the CEO of Football for the club’s owners Fenway Sports Group, offering him an enormous hand in the Reds’ future moving forwards.

The highly-regarded 44-year-old left Anfield in 2022 after just under six years as sporting director and his eye for talent proved pivotal to Liverpool’s surge to the top. To have him back in charge of recruitment – even if not directly from a sporting director position – is a major coup for the Reds and FSG.

Here are Michael Edwards’ ten best signings from his previous spell at Liverpool – ranked.

Kostas TsimikasKostas Tsimikas

Tsimikas has been an able deputy / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/GettyImages

In the modern age, signing a talented back-up left-back for under £12m is quite the feat in itself, with Kostas Tsimikas having established himself as something of a fan favourite on Merseyside since his switch from Olympiacos.

The ‘Greek Scouser’ has been reliable when called upon by Klopp and even netted the crucial winning penalty in the 2022 FA Cup final against Chelsea to cement his place in club folklore.

There is still room for improvement from the 27-year-old, but he has been an able deputy on the left-hand side of defence for a bargain price.

Thiago AlcantaraThiago Alcantara

Thiago has been a class act when fit / Malcolm Couzens/GettyImages

There is no doubting that Thiago’s spell at Liverpool has been ultimately underwhelming, but that’s simply due to the sheer volume of injuries suffered by the Spaniard.

The 32-year-old hasn’t been fit often enough, but he has been absolutely dazzling when available and able to orchestrate Liverpool’s midfield.

Signing the talented maestro from Bayern Munich for just £20m was something of a coup, with Thiago being one of the few already forged superstars Liverpool have signed in recent years.

Harvey ElliottHarvey Elliott

Elliott was a boyhood Liverpool fan / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Liverpool were by no means the only club sniffing around young Harvey Elliott back in 2019, but the Reds were able to persuade the then teenager to make the move to Anfield from Fulham.

The fact that he was a boyhood Liverpool supporter likely helped, but it remains a shrewd piece of business from Edwards.

Elliott ended up setting Liverpool back just £4.3m via tribunal, with the 20-year-old having blossomed into an all-action midfielder under Klopp despite starting his career as a right winger.

Ibrahima KonateIbrahima Konate

The Frenchman has blossomed next to Virgil van Dijk / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

When clubs across Europe were clambering over one another to sign Dayot Upamecano from RB Leipzig in 2021, Edwards decided to bring his centre-back partner to Liverpool instead. Given the trajectory of both players’ careers, that looks another astute decision.

Ibrahima Konate has developed into a sensational central defender since rocking up on Merseyside and has now established himself as the partner to Virgil van Dijk in the heart of the Liverpool backline.

Pace, strength and a fantastic reading of the game, the 24-year-old has everything you need from a modern centre-back – and all for just £36m.

Diogo JotaDiogo Jota

Jota has proved a lot of people wrong / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Eyebrows were raised when Liverpool splashed £41m on Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Diogo Jota out of nowhere in 2020, but the Portuguese has proven to be one of the most devastating finishers in the Premier League since arriving at Anfield.

Klopp has used Jota from the left wing and as a more orthodox number nine, with the 27-year-old flourishing in both roles. Liverpool have missed him dearly during several lengthy spells on the sidelines, with the attacker boasting a quite incredible conversion rate for the Reds.


Fabinho left Liverpool last summer / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Similarly to Jota’s acquisition, the signing of Fabinho came out of the blue. The defensive midfielder had thrived in that memorable Monaco side that reached the Champions League semi-final in 2016/17, but there were no signs that Liverpool were ready to pull the trigger on the £39m man.

Well, they will be thankful that they listened to Edwards’ pleas to sign the Brazilian, who quickly became one of the best holding midfielders in world football at his peak.

His protection of the back four helped Liverpool become Premier League, European and world champions, while the Reds were even able to recoup all the money they spent on him last summer.

Andrew RobertsonAndrew Robertson

Robertson was plucked from relegated Hull City / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Spending just £8m on Andy Robertson has to be one of the best value-for-money signings in Premier League history. Picked up from relegated Hull City in 2017, the Scot currently has the joint-most assists (58) of any player in the division’s history who has exclusively featured as a defender.

Bombing up and down the wing for Liverpool from left-back, the indefatigable Robertson was often a chief creator for the Reds with his masterful left foot, and the 30-year-old formed a formidable partnership with Sadio Mane on the flank.

Still going strong for the Reds, Robertson was the perfect example of a world-class signing on a budget.

Alisson BeckerAlisson Becker

Alisson has transformed Liverpool / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

Klopp’s need to play attractive, high-risk football was given a major boost by the signing of Alisson from Roma. The goalkeeper has not only been extremely talented with the ball at his feet, his sweeping and shot-stopping abilities have made him borderline indispensable to Liverpool.

The Brazilian is regularly Liverpool’s saviour as the ball is floated in behind the Reds’ high line, and he has no problems outperforming his expected goals conceded figure.

Given Liverpool’s previous woes with goalkeepers – chiefly Loris Karius in recent years – Alisson’s reliability and unmatched one-v-one goalkeeping has helped him achieve legendary status at Anfield.

Mohamed SalahMohamed Salah

Salah quickly found his feet at Anfield / Ryan Pierse/GettyImages

Liverpool knew they were on to a good thing when Mohamed Salah posted a then record-breaking 32 goals in his first Premier League season for the Reds, but his longevity has been nothing short of remarkable.

The Egyptian has been relentlessly brilliant under Klopp and formed part of one of football’s elite attacking trios alongside Mane and Roberto Firmino.

Edwards went out on a limb for the Chelsea flop, with Klopp reportedly favouring a move for Julian Brandt over the Roma man, but Liverpool’s faith in their sporting director was once again rewarded.

To sign a player who has contributed 205 goals and 89 assists in 335 appearances for your club for just £34m is quite frankly ridiculous – not to mention his accumulation of silverware.

Virgil van DijkVirgil van Dijk

The Dutchman is a class act / Michael Regan/GettyImages

One of Liverpool’s most transformative signings ever, Virgil van Dijk simply has to be seen as Edwards’ best piece of business. While the defender did cost a record £75m at the time, the Reds took a gamble on a player they had admired for a lengthy period at Southampton, and it certainly paid off.

The Dutchman, who is now Liverpool skipper, has been arguably the greatest centre-back of the last decade, even coming second in the 2019 Ballon d’Or for his breathtaking performances.

Now back at his best after a shaky period post injury, the large fee splashed on the colossus looks like one of the greatest bargains in the club’s history.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.