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Which Tasks Should Jorg Schmadtke Prioritise? Is He the Right Man for the Job?

16th July 2023 Print

Now that Liverpool has a new sporting director, fans and individuals looking forward to next season to have a punt on Premiership matches are eagerly waiting to see what changes will take place at Anfield when the transfer window opens later in the summer. Jorg Schmadtke was announced as Julian Ward's replacement on Tuesday after weeks of speculation. 

Following what Liverpool enthusiasts may call a disappointing season, the Reds are among the Premier League clubs expected to be doing the most business when the transfer window opens in the summer. 

Tasks Ahead for the New Sporting Director 

With James Milner, Naby Keita, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain leaving Liverpool, so many midfielders have been linked with a move to Anfield. Unfortunately, these three players have left without Liverpool recouping a fee.

Since 2018, only one senior midfielder has been signed, meaning the squad suffers a severe shortage in both quality and quantity. Klopp will most likely work alongside Schmadtke to bring in two or three quality midfielders for the upcoming 2023/24 campaign before considering other positions. 

Besides, the future of Liverpool's second-choice goalkeeper, Coaimhin Kelleher, is uncertain. Kelleher, who helped the Reds win the 2022 Carabao Cup against Chelsea, is still in the shadow of Allison Becker, having made just four appearances in the previous season. In fact, Ireland boss Stephen Kenny strongly believes Kelleher must leave Liverpool this summer if he wants to fulfil his potential. 

Schmadtke will also be involved in making tough calls on Mohamed Salah, Joel Matip, Virgil Van Dijk, and Thiago, who will be entering their mid-30s. Furthermore, Trent Alexander Arnold's contract expires in the next two years. 

The right-back has had a difficult season, which saw him moved to a new role where he was tasked with fulfilling right-back and midfield duties. He is among the key players who is expected to extend his stay at Anfield and possibly become the club's future captain. 

What Will be Jorg's Role At Liverpool? 

Schmadtke seems to have an idea of what his role is at Anfield. According to the 59-year-old, his role will be executing Jurgen Klopp's wishes. 

He noted that the coach's input in transfers is greater in England than in Germany, where the sports directors make most of the decisions. 

The German pointed out that he would work with data analysts and scouts to select from a list of players he'd like to engage. The next step would be approaching the targets alongside their respective clubs and making sure the owners are also satisfied with the investments. 

Schmadtke duties would officially begin on 1st June, after which he’d assess his relationship with the coach to determine if they can continue working together beyond the transfer window. 

Is Schmadtke the Right Man to Rebuild Liverpool? 

Schmadtke's contract will last for three months, with the possibility of an extension if all goes well. 

Having played for Freiburg and Fortuna Dusseldorf as a former goalkeeper, Schmadtke is expected to bring a lot of experience to Anfield. Furthermore has worked at Hannover 96, Alemannia Aachen, Fc Koln, and Wolfsburg as the director of sports. 

Overall, Schmadtke has been successful at the executive level.  

For example, he has helped Koln and Hannover reach the Europa League, earned a promotion to the Bundesliga, and reached the German Cup final. Besides, his recent big achievement happened in the 3021/22 season at Wolfsburg, where he helped them secure Champions League qualification. 

What About His Transfer Strategies? 

Schmadtke's transfer tactic is simple; “make fewer mistakes than others when signing players and appointing coaches.” Although not many household names appear on his transfer list, you can tell he has a good eye for spotting players who can make an impact. 

For instance, while at Hannover, he oversaw the signing of Lars Stindi from Karlsruher, who would later become a star at Borussia Moenchengladbach. 

While at Aachen, Schmadtke recruited Vedad Ibisevic and Simon Rolfes, who ended up becoming household names in the Bundesliga. 

At Koln, he brought in Anthony Modeste, who would end up scoring 45 goals in a span of two seasons. 

However, while at Wolfsburg, he made a mistake when he sold Victor Osimhen to Charleroi for £3m in 2019. A few weeks into the deal, Charleroi sold the striker to Lille for £19m.  

Wrapping Up 

If all the parties concerned can establish a clear sense of direction, Schmadtke's deal can be extended. As things stand, the German might not know if this is the right job for him at the moment. 

Based on the contract, this seems like a gamble for Liverpool, which means they must plan ahead if they want to enjoy a smooth campaign next season.