Liverpool soccer team named Damien Comolli as director of football strategy as it aims to strengthen its playing squad under new owner John W. Henry.
Comolli was sacked as Tottenham’s sporting director in October 2008 after Harry Redknapp replaced coach Juande Ramos following the team’s slump to bottom of the Premier League. After a spell with Saint-Etienne in France, Comolli will now be working with Reds coach Roy Hodgson as the 18-time English champion seeks to rise from 13th place.
In a statement on the club website, Henry said Comolli has a “proven track record of identifying exciting young footballing talent.” The Frenchman has also worked as a scout for Arsenal.
“Working closely with Roy Hodgson and the coaching staff, I know he will make a valuable contribution to strengthening the club and the squad as we move forward.” said Henry, whose New England Sports Ventures also owns the Boston Red Sox baseball team. Henry completed the 300 million-pound ($482 million) purchase of Liverpool last month, ending a legal fight with previous owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.
While at Tottenham, Comolli helped bring Gareth Bale to the club from Southampton, although he came under fire from some critics for what they saw as an overall failure in the transfer market. Bale starred in Spurs’ 3-1 win over Inter Milan in the Champions League last night.
“I think we all realize there is a big job ahead, but we all share the vision that John has for rebuilding the club and bringing back the success that the supporters deserve,” Comolli said on the website.
Hodgson has previously expressed dissatisfaction about the squad he was left at Anfield by coach Rafael Benitez.
“I am looking forward to working with Damien whom I have known for many years,” Hodgson said. “We all want to see moves to strengthen the squad and support player development over the next few years. John Henry and I are totally united in delivering on that ambition.”
Last week, Liverpool’s new owners said they’re not planning to sell players after U.K. media reports said goalkeeper Pepe Reina and striker Fernando Torres will leave during the January transfer window.