SOUVENIR PROGRAMME

Transfer chief who appointed Xabi Alonso ‘leading candidate’ for Liverpool role

West Ham‘s technical director, Tim Steidten, is said to be among the leading candidates to take the soon-to-be-vacated sporting director position at Liverpool FC.

This Is Anfield understands that Steidten held discussions with Liverpool last year, before he moved to West Ham and Jorge Schmadtke joined the Reds.

It is thought that the scope of the job at that time, including the need to effectively work under Jurgen Klopp rather than at the head of any sporting structure, did not appeal.

Now, Liverpool have plenty of recruitment work to do following the announcement that Klopp and his backroom staff will be leaving the club at the end of the season.

Current sporting director Schmadtke will depart before then, having taken over on a temporary basis last May and leaving the club this week following the end of the January transfer window.

It leaves a number of positions to be filled, but replacing Schmadtke and appointing a sporting director is said to be the first step along the road to recruiting the new manager.

Sky Germany journalist Florian Plettenberg tweeted on Wednesday morning that Steidten is considered “one of the candidates,” for Liverpool’s sporting director position, but added that there has been “no direct contact with Liverpool at this stage.”

Most interestingly, from a Liverpool perspective, Steidten previously worked alongside Xabi Alonso at Bayer Leverkusen before joining West Ham last summer.

The German has been credited with having a role in the deals to bring in Edson Alvarez, James Ward-Prowse, Mohammed Kudus (below) and Kalvin Phillips among others, but his reputation was initially built in Germany.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 13, 2022: Liverpool's Harvey Elliott (R) is challenged by AFC Ajax's Mohammed Kudus during the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 2 game between Liverpool FC and AFC Ajax at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The 44-year-old was the sports coordinator at the Bundesliga side when Alonso was appointed, and the connection between the pair will no doubt pique the interest of supporters as they ponder who the next appointment could be.

Last summer, BBC reported that Steidten’s “data-led approach” in unearthing “unheralded gems” through scouting was among the attributes that attracted them to make the appointment.

West Ham boss David Moyes praised him for having a “strong track record in elite level football.”

Prior to his four-year spell at Leverkusen, where he initially worked as head of scouting, Steidten spent nine years in various roles at Werder Bremen.

2KA9M23 Leverkusen, Germany. 01st Nov, 2022. Soccer: Champions League, Bayer Leverkusen - FC Brugge, Group Stage, Group B, Matchday 6, BayArena. Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso looks ahead to the match. Credit: Marius Becker/dpa/Alamy Live News

During that time, he was involved in signing the likes of Kevin de Bruyne and Serge Gnabry, who have, of course, both gone on to carve out exceptional careers in Europe that were ignited at Werder.

It is certainly an appointment which would make a lot of sense for Liverpool, particularly if Alonso is indeed viewed as a leading candidate to take over in the managerial hot seat.

There will no doubt be other links to come, but Steidten’s pedigree appears to tick a lot of boxes and could be an ideal long-term solution.

Steidten as the priority appointment and Alonso to follow in the summer seems, on paper, the perfect fit for Liverpool.