Liverpool fans may be intrigued by recurring theme from Schmadtke’s previous transfer successes
Any Liverpool supporter who’s been reading up on Jorg Schmadtke in the days since he was first linked with the sporting director role at Anfield may have noticed a recurring theme when it comes to some of his previous transfer successes.
According to the Daily Mail, the Reds are in ‘advanced talks’ with the 59-year-old and want him in place before the summer market opens, with the German believed to be entering ‘the formalities of a contract’.
In a separate article, the same publication highlighted some of his most astute signings from his work with previous clubs, and one of the Merseysiders’ fiercest rivals crop up either directly or indirectly in a few instances.
Two of his most heralded pieces of transfer business at Hannover 96 involved recruitment from Manchester United, firstly goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler in 2010 and then Mame Biram Diouf two years later.
Fast forward to 2018, and with Schmadtke now at Wolfsburg, he oversaw the arrival of a Dutch striker from AZ Alkmaar by the name of Wout Weghorst… who’s now on loan at Old Trafford in another parallel between the 59-year-old and the Red Devils.
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With the first two players mentioned above, Liverpool fans may afford themselves a wry smile that their club’s likely next sporting director found some hidden gems who were on the periphery at their arch-rivals.
Having never made a senior appearance for United, Zieler lined out more than 300 times for Hannover, keeping 75 clean sheets and playing his way into Germany’s victorious 2014 World Cup squad (Transfermarkt).
Diouf had a slight window of opportunity at Old Trafford, netting once in his nine outings in Manchester, but he too enjoyed his best years with Die Roten, for whom he hit his best goals-per-game ratio with 35 strikes in 71 matches (Transfermarkt).
As for Weghorst, his return of two goals in 27 games for the Red Devils doesn’t make for good reading, but he was a smash hit for Wolfsburg after Schmadtke brought him in from AZ, with 70 goals in 144 appearances clocking in at just under one every other game (Transfermarkt).
The likelihood of the German signing someone directly from United is extremely slim – the late Phil Chisnall remains the last player to move straight between Old Trafford and Anfield (Liverpool Echo).
However, history suggests he might just cheekily recruit a player who United readily discarded and see them become a success on Merseyside. Now wouldn’t that be one way for the 59-year-old to endear himself to the Kop!
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