Even the most red-tinted glasses Liverpool supporters will likely admit that the current group of players under Jurgen Klopp are at the end of a cycle.
Key to the period of resurgence and conquest of domestic and European football that has marked the manager’s reign at Anfield has been a world class backroom operation. Club owners, FSG invested heavily in elite facilities, bleeding edge data science, and supercharged commercial operations, while former sporting director Michael Edwards helped mastermind a ruthlessly effective transfer strategy and a top-notch scouting setup. Bringing Klopp’s elite management into that heady mix resulted in a run of dominance that required the financial might of a nation state’s sport-washing enterprise to match.
However, with the departure of Michael Edwards at the end of last season—and his successor Julian Ward soon to follow out the door at the end of this campaign—the squad-building pillar of the Liverpool structure has suffered resulting in an unbalanced, aging, and injury prone collection of players struggling to reach the heights of times gone by.
With FSG now committed to the club at least in the medium term, a major focus has been on finding a sporting director who can lead what needs to be a massive overhaul of the squad in the summer. Monaco executive Paul Mitchell has been the sought-after name who has popped up in the rumor mill of late, with sources naming him the leading candidate for the Reds job.
The Englishman was said to have been in the frame for a role at Chelsea following the summer takeover (however, Todd Boehly decided that he was more than qualified for the job). Having held similar roles at both Southampton (where he identified and bought Sadio Mane from Austria) and Tottenham, RB Leipzig, Mitchell was seen as the type of shrewd operator required to lead the line for Liverpool.
However, The Telegraph is now reporting that FSG have decided to go in another direction and are no longer considering the experienced executive for the role. Mitchell’s rumored stated commitment to staying at the Ligue 1 club through 2024 might have played a part in FSG’s lack of interest in pursuing his candidacy, but nothing has been confirmed.
And so the search continues on for a Liverpool sporting director. Reds supporters will be hoping someone, anyone, comes along soon—someone needs to be there to sign the Jude Bellingham transfer check in the summer.