Carragher reveals “biggest thing” Michael Edwards told him on Liverpool transfers

Jamie Carragher has revealed the “biggest thing” he took away from a talk with Michael Edwards when it comes to Liverpool’s transfer strategy.

Edwards left Liverpool last summer with his reputation significantly enhanced, having masterminded the club’s success in the transfer market over seven years.

He is currently without a job, departing the club in order to enjoy time away, and he will soon be followed by his replacement, Julian Ward.

Ward effectively followed in Edwards’ footsteps, though where previously there was a bigger focus on the Premier League market along with connections in Germany, of late Liverpool have looked more to Portugal and the Netherlands.

Speaking on the 90 Minutes with Neville Southall podcast, Carragher discussed a conversation he had with Edwards and the “startling” role agents play in transfers.

“Liverpool have been sort of famed for the last four or five years for being great in the transfer market,” he explained.

“Being ahead of the curve if you like, getting players, going under the radar in terms of press speculation.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, August 23, 2017: Liverpool's Director of Football Michael Edwards during the UEFA Champions League Play-Off 2nd Leg match between Liverpool and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I spoke to him two or three years ago and he said the biggest thing for them was the relationship with agents.

“Whether that’s speaking to them, financially – I’m sure that plays a big part, I think that’s common knowledge.

“It was just startling, really.

“I also spoke to Alex Inglethorpe, who is head of the academy at Liverpool, and players at that age were getting agents.

“He said the agent isn’t just the agent anymore. He plays the role of everybody – four or five people.

“He’s the father figure, he’s the agent – that’s his job – he’s the sounding board, he’s the best friend in some instances – where a player’s moving around the world, he loses contact a little bit with family and friends.”

Carragher added: “The advice from the agent to the player about where he needs to go I think is paramount.

“I got it from the gospel’s mouth, if you like, from Liverpool, who were seen as great in the transfer market. That was the biggest thing he said to me.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 7, 2023: Wolverhampton Wanderers' Matheus Nunes during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This is, of course, not a major revelation, with the role of agents in the modern transfer market well-documented, but it does give an insight into how Liverpool have stayed ahead of the game.

Even now, since Edwards’ departure, the club relies on low-profile talks with potential targets, with news on moves for the likes of Luis Diaz and Cody Gakpo only breaking when deals had already been agreed.

As Carragher continued, then, his comments on the influence of Jorge Mendes were particularly interesting given the club’s interest in his client, Matheus Nunes.

“He’s probably seen as the biggest agent we’ve seen of the last five or 10 years. It feels like he’s actually running football a lot of the time,” he said.

“It’s not just Ronaldo, everyone knows, he’s not daft, he’s running Wolves.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 7, 2023: Liverpool's Thiago Alcântara (R) embraces Wolverhampton Wanderers' manager Julen Lopetegui after the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“His clients always get the manager’s job, and that’s on the proviso that he’ll then bring his players into the Premier League.

“[They] put them in the shop window, then maybe get a move from Wolves then higher up the chain in the Premier League.

“That just shows the power of agents, especially Jorge Mendes.”