The moves Michael Edwards is making to ease Liverpool anxiety after Jurgen Klopp

For someone whose last act as a Liverpool employee was to perform air guitar in the front row of a Lighting Seeds set, it's only fitting that Michael Edwards is now getting the band back together.

Edwards publicly signed off as sporting director two years ago when he was present at the Liverpool supporters' fan park in Cour de Vincennes, Paris, just hours before the Champions League final at the Stade de France.

Had the Reds gone on to lift a seventh European Cup later that evening, it would have been the perfect send-off for such an integral cog in the success enjoyed by Jurgen Klopp, his players and staff. It was not to be, of course, but Edwards is now back in the saddle at Anfield, only this time with more responsibility and scope.

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His restructuring at the top end of the club continued at pace on Friday with the news that former sporting director Julian Ward is to return alongside Pedro Marques, from Benfica, to respective roles of technical director and director of football development in owners Fenway Sports Group's new setup.

Edwards, as FSG's first-ever 'CEO of football' - a bespoke position created specifically for him - has wasted little time getting the key cogs in place since he was officially confirmed in March.

Richard Hughes will be appointed as the first permanent sporting director since Ward when he arrives, officially, from Bournemouth on June 1 and he will bring with him Mark Burchill, who will work alongside Liverpool's chief scout Barry Hunter and their head of recruitment Dave Fallows, two hugely influential figures behind the scenes.

David Woodfine will re-join as Hughes's assistant less than a year after departing Anfield. The former head of loan pathways will work with the new sporting director in a position that was initially created to help Ward develop back in late 2020.

For those within the fanbase who know - or care - little for what these roles entail and how important they are to the organisation of an elite, modern football club, the best indicator might be the wealth of knowledge Liverpool will now accrue in different parts of the world when it comes to recruitment and scouting.

Put simply, the Reds' sprawling network of contacts will be bolstered significantly by the appointment of each going forward, which could open a range of new avenues at Anfield.

For Edwards, the opportunity to work with Hughes has always appealed since their paths first crossed at Portsmouth 20 years ago and the Bournemouth chief brings with him an bulging contacts book across Spanish and Italian football, which will only increase Liverpool's depth of knowledge of those regions.

It was Hughes who coaxed Andoni Iraola to Bournemouth last summer and the Scot is on good terms with the Cherries manager's representative, Inaki Martinez, who is also the agent of Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso. Hughes also wanted Roberto De Zerbi at the Vitality only to be thwarted by a delay in ownership change, which allowed Brighton to swoop.

On Edwards' watch, with Ward as his assistant, Liverpool's relationship with the Red Bull stable was a strong one and helped the club to land players like Sadio Mane, Naby Keita, Ibrahima Konate and Takumi Minamino.

Indeed it was Edwards's discovery of a relatively modest release clause of £7m that allowed the Reds to snare Japan international Minamino from Red Bull Salzburg in late 2019. Mane was already a Southampton player by the time he moved in 2016 but background checks from Salzburg, where the Senegal star spent two years between 2012 and 2014, helped interest intensify.

It was also this working partnership that allowed Liverpool to strike the unusual agreement in late August 2017 that brought Keita to Anfield the following year from RB Leipzig. The friendly terms have since continued with the respective deals that took Fabio Carvalho to Germany on loan and Dominik Szoboszlai in the opposite direction for £60m.

Ward's contacts in Portugal were also key when the Reds were moving for the likes of Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez. Having been prepared for a soft launch into the sporting director job that was being vacated by Edwards that summer, FSG's new technical director took the lead for the first time on the move for Diaz in January 2022 and was also vital to helping get a new deal for Mohamed Salah signed and sealed later that year while also driving the deal for Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven.

Ward was integral to the acquisition of Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton & Hove Albion, helping seal a £35m deal at the start of last summer as his final act in the role before Jorg Schmadtke took the reins temporarily. It was said to have been the relationship with agent Juan Gemili that enabled Liverpool to discover the release clause in Mac Allister's contract that had been signed around six months earlier.

Having spent two years inside the Portuguese national setup before working as a South American scouting strategist at Manchester City, Liverpool's knowledge of both of those regions through Ward's experience will now be enhanced by the addition of Marques to the FSG roster, who also served as a City employee prior to moving to Benfica.

Ward is good friends with Marques and contacted him prior to the Champions League final in 2019 to ask if a friendly could be arranged between Liverpool and Benfica B, who were also asked to set up in the same way as Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham before that game in Madrid. Like the final itself in the Wanda Metropolitano, the Reds won 2-0 with Mane on the scoresheet in the Marbella warm-up.

The Portuguese is seen as an influential operator in the technical department and he will be tasked with keeping tabs on the development of players and analysing performance among other duties as FSG look to explore the multi-club model further in the coming weeks and months.

And having once taken on the unofficial moniker as the 'transfer committee' - a phrase that was rarely complimentary before its hit-rate improved and such derogatory references fell silent - Liverpool's new-look recruitment department has seemingly taken on a new nickname online.

Described, affectionately, as 'the Nerd Avengers' in some corners of social media, the label might be somewhat unkind to a point but there is little doubt now that Edwards, as 'the new' Mike Gordon - or Nick Fury - of the operation at Liverpool, is forming quite the formidable team behind the scenes, post-Klopp.

And if there is understandable apprehension from supporters at the thought of an Anfield world without Klopp, it is at least being counteracted by the executive expertise that is arriving at the club from the end of this month.