Julian Ward, one of the key figures behind Liverpool’s phenomenal transfer dealings during Jurgen Klopp’s era, is on the verge of joining Ajax.
According to a recent report from the Daily Mirror, Ward has lived up to his earlier promise that he’ll part company with the Reds at the end of the season, only a few months after being promoted to a sporting director role.
He has agreed to take up a similar role at Ajax at the end of the season despite his important status in the Anfield hierarchy after succeeding the highly-rated Michael Edwards in the transfer seat.
While Ward’s decision to cut ties with Liverpool sounds somewhat surprising given his contribution to Klopp’s project, those close to the Lancers have plenty to look forward to his arrival.
It will be up to the 41-year-old executive to help the Eredivisie heavyweights build from scratch after Erik ten Hag and several first-team stars left the club last summer.
The Dutch manager took over the reins at Manchester United and took Argentine star Lisandro Martinez with him to the Premier League, leaving a substantial defensive hole in the Ajax defence.
The Lancers are still sweating over the future of in-demand Jurrien Timber, who has emerged as a transfer target for numerous top European clubs.
Ward’s switch to the Johan Cruyff Arena could help Ajax head coach John Heitinga address his team’s defensive woes, with Joe Gomez a potential candidate to leave his homeland.
Ward’s exit could help Liverpool shift Gomez
Joe Gomez has failed to kick on as he would’ve hoped this season despite an injury crisis in Liverpool’s backline.
Klopp’s defenders, including Ibrahima Konate, Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip, had been dealt repetitive injury blows during the first half of the season.
However, the 25-year-old Gomez has failed to take advantage of his competitors’ recurring fitness problems to establish himself as a permanent first-team fixture.
His horror showing during the Reds’ 5-2 romping at the hands of Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie may have ended his career at Anfield.
Since being subjected to mass criticism for his lacklustre display against Los Blancos, he’s been left out in the cold by Klopp, who has refused to include him in his matchday squad ever since.
While swapping the Premier League for the Dutch championship would generally look like a step back, the prospect of regular European football and the chance to battle for trophies could prove enough to lure Gomez to Amsterdam.
And with Ward soon to take charge of Ajax’s transfer dealings, it’s not unimaginable to envisage the Englishman’s move to the Eredivisie.
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