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Why Jorg Schmadtke has just hit the jackpot at Liverpool as the signings strategy is detailed

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Why Jorg Schmadtke has just hit the jackpot at Liverpool as the signings strategy is detailed

Former Liverpool striker Erik Meijer spills the beans on the Reds’ new sporting director Jorg Schmadtke, who he worked with at Bayer Leverkusen before joining Alemannia Aachen.

“Eric, don’t worry. We have a nice club, we have a nice, old stadium. It’s like English football, but we have no money!”

Jorg Schmadtke must be feeling like a million bucks after coming out of retirement to become Liverpool’s new sporting director. The 59-year-old officially begins work at the AXA Training Centre today, and while he has had a hugely successful career as a technical director in Germany, with Alemannia Aachen, Hannover 96, FC Koln, and most recently VfL Wolfsburg, there’s no denying that the Reds are in a completely different league.

When attracting former Liverpool striker Erik Meijer to Aachen from Hamburg in 2003, Schmadtke launched his transfer pitch with the above phrase. It didn’t take long for the former goalkeeper to beat ‘Mad’ Erik at Bayer Leverkusen five years ago.

Schmadtke has rejoined his former colleague’s club 20 years later. He would not have needed such a pitch to move to Anfield. And, as he heads into work on day one, he will be in charge of the most critical transfer window in Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool career, having signed a short-term contract with the club.

Schmadtke is now firmly established in English football. To say the club is nice is an understatement. Anfield is one of Europe’s most sophisticated stadiums, and the ongoing Anfield Road addition will increase its capacity to 61,000 in time for the 2023/24 season. And, for the first time in his career, he will have a large sum of money at his disposal.

Schmadtke is late to the party for a sporting director who has earned a fortune by assisting the Davids of Germany in punching above their weight. And the chance to work for a footballing Goliath is exactly why the German called it quits after only five months to make the surprising move to Anfield.

“I think if you get a chance like this, a chance you didn’t expect to get, then you have to take it,” Meijer told the ECHO in an exclusive interview when offering insight on his former colleague following his appointment at Anfield. “Why not? I think everybody would do that. Working for a first-class club.

“I think when Jorg Schmadtke was honest to himself, he wasn’t ready yet to retire. To sit down or to go to his house in Ibiza and do nothing.

“He is still a football man. I think he got a little bit restless, and then Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool came calling. And then he woke up. His eyes start shining again and he’s up for the job.

Why Jorg Schmadtke has just hit the jackpot at Liverpool as the signings strategy is detailed

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