Julian Ward’s Portuguese connections that aided Liverpool’s pursuit of Darwin Nunez from Benfica

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Julian Ward has stepped up to the role of Sporting Director and already helped capture Portuguese starlet Fabio Carvalho and Primeira Liga’s Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez.

This connection with the European nation has been reported by the Liverpool Echo: ‘Ward’s first big opportunity arose in August 2008 as he became head of analysis and technical scouting for the Portuguese Football Federation. It is understood Ward was recommended for this role by a mutual friend of then head coach of the national team, Carlos Queiroz.

‘Liverpool secured the services of Ward in October 2012, appointed as the club’s European scouting manager with a focus on Spain and Portugal regions.

READ MORE: ‘I’ll give him a call’ – Darwin Nunez is looking forward to asking Luis Suarez ‘lots of questions’ as move to Liverpool is completed

‘The summer of 2013 saw Sporting Lisbon defender Tiago Ilori arrive through the doors at Anfield, with Lazar Markovic being signed from Benfica the following year. It’s also believed Ward played a key role in Roberto Firmino being recruited in 2015.

‘One of Ward’s major strengths has been his ability to maintain strong relations with his Portuguese connections, benefiting Klopp’s side on more than one occasion. Ahead of the 2019 Champions League final with Tottenham Hotspur, he arranged for Benfica to play Liverpool in a training match as part of their preparations.

‘The Portuguese side are understood to have adopted the same formation and tactical approach as Spurs, ensuring the Reds were fully prepared of what to expect in Madrid’.

It’s clear that the new man in charge of our transfers has a strong working relationship with many key figures in Portugal and it’s great to be able to take advantage of this.

Michael Edwards has left some big shoes to fill and, although he doesn’t formally leave until the end of the month, our new man has started his tenure with three briliant acquisitions.

We are still reportedly in the market for a midfielder and possibly another attacker, let’s see what happens in the rest of this transfer window.

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