Luis Alberto masterpiece could make Liverpool millions this summer


Michael Edwards does not interview. The Liverpool sports director just doesn’t want the headlines.

Edwards does not appear publicly either, and anyone looking for a photo of him will find only a few.

You won’t find much about him on the club’s website, and even a Google search won’t reveal much about his background.

Rewind eight years and most Liverpool fans will not know the name, but those inside Anfield knew how much the former Tottenham analyst was becoming an asset.

Indeed, Edwards’ fame was obtained through the excellent work behind the scenes and today he is considered just as important to Liverpool’s success as Jurgen Klopp or anyone else in the club.

In truth, Edwards’ good work has been going on for years and Liverpool are reaping the rewards.

Take Bournemouth, for example. Dominic Solanke was sold to the Cherries for £ 19m, joining Jordon Ibe, who had moved to Bournemouth for £ 15m two seasons earlier. Brad Smith also made the same change, for around £ 4 million.

But an agreement, made long ago by the 2016 deadline, could soon make millions in Liverpool.

In truth, it has been done for seven years.

Edwards was part of the transfer committee that identified Spanish midfielder Luis Alberto in 2013. Then in Seville, Liverpool believed he had potential and brought him to Anfield for £ 6.8 million.

He would only make nine appearances for the club, without scoring, before being sent on consecutive loans to Malaga and Deportivo respectively.

And then in 2016, it was quietly sold to Lazio for 4.3 million pounds plus add-ons.

It’s a deal that has worked perfectly for Alberto and the Italian club. Very soon, Liverpool could also benefit.

Since moving to Serie A, Alberto has shown why Liverpool cares so much about him.

At just 27, Alberto has improved every year to become one of the best strikers in the division. He is a supreme designer, scoring 14 goals in all competitions this season, while scoring five goals.

He’s on the right track for his best season at the club, so it’s not surprising that heads are turned across the continent.

Indeed, Alberto is said to attract the interest of a number of top clubs across Europe, including the Premier League and, interestingly, Merseyside. Everton was strongly linked.

Reports in Italy earlier this year claimed that Lazio was desperately trying to tie the midfielder to a new deal with a release clause of around £ 87 million. Other reports say that if this deal is not signed, Lazio will demand £ 69 million this summer.

Tempting sums of money. And that’s where Liverpool comes in.

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Edwards and his team helped negotiate a 30% sale clause in the deal that led Alberto to Lazio.

They supported their judgment on the player and knew he could become a success at Anfield.

It could end up being a stroke of genius.

If Lazio got £ 69 million for Alberto, the Reds could cash in £ 21 million – a good amount of money to blow up the vaults before another big summer for the Reds.

This is why Saturday’s reports that Liverpool may waive the clause seem strange.

Italian media reports say the Reds are ready to forget the deal in order to bring Lazio forward Joaquin Correa to Anfield.

With eight goals this season, Correa is doing well, but Liverpool’s release clause could prove to be even more valuable.

Especially when you consider that these same reports say the Reds are ready to pay £ 52 million for the attacker.

Essentially, if Liverpool were to drop the clause, Correa would cost just under £ 75 million. The Reds do not make transactions that do not make financial sense. And it’s not.

So don’t be surprised if many inside Anfield encourage the Spaniard to continue being a Serie A success.

And as Alberto’s reputation grows, so does the legend of Edwards.

Try as he can, he just can’t avoid the limelight.

This article was first published on March 7 and was updated on April 25.


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