“Seems Like The Dream Set Up” – European Expert On Liverpool’s Sporting Director Search

Written by:

Share the love

By Lewis Thompson

The end of the January transfer window saw Jorg Schmadtke’s tenure as Liverpool’s sporting director come to an end.

Schmadtke joined the Reds last June, having previously worked in Germany and was seen as a short-term fix to Liverpool’s problems following the abrupt exits of Michael Edwards and Julian Ward.

Edwards was treated like a king by Liverpool fans and these days having a successful technical/sporting director at the helm has never been more important, but who could Liverpool bring in next?

‘IN THE SAME BREATH AS GERRARD’ – Liverpool Academy Coach On Trent Alexander-Arnold

“Like all sporting directors, he’s known as meticulous and a very sophisticated operator, leaving no stone unturned whatsoever,” were the words of Dougie Critchley as he spoke about Tim Steidten, West Ham’s technical director.

Critchley (https://twitter.com/DougieCritchley) is a European football expert as seen on Sky Sports and Football Daily, and Dan Clubbe sat down with him to discuss the potential candidates when it comes to Liverpool appointing a new sporting director.

Steidten was appointed by West Ham in the summer following success at Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen, where he hired Xabi Alonso in his first senior management role.

The German spent a number of years in charge of Leverkusen’s recruitment strategy, after excelling at Bremen and was the man who gave the likes of Serge Gnabry and Kevin De Bruyne second chances following poor spells at Arsenal and Chelsea respectively.

“I like the fact that if you’re bringing in Xabi Alonso, who is probably Liverpool’s first choice and a managerial appointment that makes the most sense at the moment, then it’s nice to have someone who’s worked with him before,” Critchley said.

“That seems like the dream set up, having said that, I don’t know how easy it would be to get him out of his West Ham contract.”

Should Unai Emery be on Liverpool’s shortlist to replace Jurgen Klopp?

When the Hammers brought Critchley into the club, there was no lack of pressure to make sure the money from the likes of Declan Rice was used wisely.

Critchley added: “When you sell probably the best player in your modern history, there was the potential for West Ham to really regress.

“They spent a lot of last year battling relegation and the success in the Europa Conference League covered up what was really a difficult league campaign this year.

“But they’ve done really well this year and are seventh as we record this, this time last year they were 17th, two points clear of the relegation zone.”

Mohammed Kudus, Edson Alvarez and James Ward-Prowse were all brought in under Steidten’s watch and have all gone on to establish themselves as big parts of David Moyes’ side this season.

“A previously established relationship is good, but you need your director not to be tied too heavily to the managers because in many ways you want your recruitment strategy not to be tied to one manager,” Critchley said.

“You’ve seen at Man United how many Erik Ten Hag’s signings have come in and it’s clear they’ve got no structure around him.

“Liverpool operates in a completely different sphere to United, they are much smarter but at the same time I don’t think it’s a disaster to not get the sporting director who’s worked with the manager before.

“I think he would be my first choice, after that Paul Mitchell.”

Why Jurgen Klopp Needs a Break from Football – w/Sports Science Expert Peter Brukner

Mitchell is a former professional footballer, who has worked with the likes of Spurs and RB Leipzig on player recruitment.

He was forced to retire at 25 after a horrendous ankle injury, before heading to MK Dons, then Southampton.

At the Saints, Mitchell played a pivotal role bringing in Mauricio Pochettino as manager and in signing players such as Sadio Mane, Toby Alderweireld and Dusan Tadic.

Critchley said: “He did really good work there then followed Pochettino to Spurs, built the side that challenged for a league title twice, reached a Champions League final and only really fell apart with that side due to a lack of investment.

“He’s a hugely successful football operator and is known as being quite forward-thinking, particularly a decade ago when not many clubs had the idea of signing youth players and selling them on for profit.”


Most recently, Mitchell spent time at AS Monaco before leaving the club in March 2023.

When he arrived there were 77 players under contract and he had to reduce that down to 39, in a debut campaign when Monaco finished third in Ligue 1.

“When he took over Monaco were in the bottom third of teams in Europe for things like distance covered and sprints etc,” Critchley added.

“The side that he built then went up to around third in Europe with really high energy which would fit the Liverpool model.”

Mitchell ticks a lot of the FSG boxes, albeit being a Mancunian, which is not the be-all and end-all of a great sporting director.

The Englishman emulates the likes of Michael Edwards in terms of style and is also currently unemployed.

Critchley said: “This guy is supposedly known as a complete workaholic, sleeps at the training ground and was big into sleep and sleep therapy for players, including utilising a data-led approach, he is at the real forefront.

“Paul Mitchell is known as probably the outstanding sporting director, not currently employed in the Premier League.

“I think he’s definitely worth considering for Liverpool and has been angling for a return to England for quite a few months now.”


Spread the love
Supporter's Section

With over 30 shows a month

we cover every aspect of Liverpool FC, past present & future.

Now is the time to subscribe.

Previews, reactions, analysis, interviews

and more through the ups & the downs!

Join Redmen TV Plus Today

Subscribe Today Or
| Website designed & hosted by Cyberfrog Design Web Design Liverpool