Liverpool fans pick their preferred sporting director - poll results

It's not only Jurgen Klopp who needs replacing at Liverpool, the Reds are also on the lookout for a new permanent sporting director.

Following Julian Ward's surprise decision to stand down from the role at the end of the 2022/23 season, former goalkeeper and Wolfsburg transfer chief Jorg Schmadtke was tempted out of retirement to take the gig on an interim basis.

The 59-year-old signed up on a short-term contract, describing himself as an 'assistant' to Klopp.

The German's Bundesliga connections came in handy over the summer, with Liverpool landing three first-team signings from his native land in Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch as part of the midfield rebuild.

However, following Klopp's shock announcement that he would be departing at the end of the season, it was also revealed that Schmadtke would leave after the January transfer window.

The Reds are currently without a transfer chief, while it has been reported that the club will look to recruit someone in the role before dealing with Klopp's successor.

It's a role that is, arguably, as crucial to a club's success as the manager in modern football, with the sporting director responsible for helping set the philosophy of the team, as well as heading the recruitment and squad planning.

There has been plenty of speculation and debate as to who might take over.

Much-loved former sporting director at Anfield Michael Edwards has already been ruled out, while a host of other names are supposedly in the frame.

Anfield Watch asked the question of who Liverpool fans would like to see get the job among the top candidates, with over 3,000 voting in response.

Tim Steidten, currently at West Ham, was the clear winner of the poll on X, taking just under half of the votes (48.1%), ahead of Dan Ashworth (Newcastle), who trailed behind with just over a quarter (25.7%).

Richard Hughes, who holds an equivalent position at Bournemouth and is a known confidante of Edwards, earned just a 10.3% share, meanwhile, with 15.9% of voters preferring another unnamed candidate — with Edwards a popular choice in the comments.

The people's choice Steidten is a 44-year-old former midfielder from Germany, who only joined West Ham as technical director last summer, having previously spent time at Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen.

Steidten has quickly risen to prominence for his work at West Ham, orchestrating a series of impressive signings, including Mohammed Kudus and Edson Alvarez from Ajax, Kalvin Phillips from Manchester City and James Ward-Prowse from Southampton.

At Leverkusen, where he worked with reported Liverpool managerial target Xabi Alonso, Steidten earned a reputation as 'the pearl diver' for his ability to find up-and-coming talents such as Florian Wirtz and Edmond Tapsoba.

He also oversaw the arrivals of players like Moussa Diaby, who secured a £50m move to Aston Villa last summer, and the promising Piero Hincapie, who is a long-term target for Liverpool for the left-sided centre-back position.

Tim Steidten David Moyes West Ham

Tim Steidten David Moyes West Ham

Steidten hasn't played down speculation over a summer move to Liverpool, saying: “I've heard that I am supposed to be on the list at Liverpool.

“It is one of the biggest clubs in the world, so it's an honour. But so far nobody from Liverpool has contacted me yet.

“I generally feel very comfortable at West Ham. I quickly realised how intense this league is. Accordingly, we signed the right players in the last transfer windows. The squad is strong, so we can achieve our goals.

“I am looking forward facing the next weeks and months until the end of the season. Of course we are already planing the next window. What happens to the future, we will see.”

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