Woodgate joined Liverpool’s scouting staff after hanging up his boots in 2016 thanks to a connection with Michael Edwards and, speaking to Jamie Carragher on The Greatest Game podcast, Woodgate explained: “Michael Edwards was at Spurs [as head of performance analysis] and every day I was in there watching players with him – Philippe Coutinho, actually, when he was at Inter Milan.
“I would be in there every day constantly turning [Edwards’] office upside down and getting to know him. He was a really good guy.
“He rang me one day and said ‘what are you doing?’. I said ‘nothing, I’ve just retired’. He said ‘do you fancy coming on board and doing some scouting for Liverpool in Spain and Portugal?’.
“I said ‘too right I do!’. I was all over that. I was watching all the games, Spanish second division, Spanish first… I was going every couple of weeks and doing four games and then you come back and watch the game on the telly and the laptop.”
As part of his role, Woodgate recalled watching a number of young talents who have gone on to big things, with Hernandez and new Manchester City signing Ruben Dias among those who stood out.
“You get to know all the younger players from around the world like the lad [Marcos] Llorente at Atletico Madrid, the Hernandez brothers who moved to Bayern Munich and Real Madrid – and Ruben Dias at Benfica,” Woodgate added.
“I watched Benfica play at Sunderland, I think U19s, and [Dias] was top drawer. You have all these players coming through now and it is just like ‘wow’.”
“You do your homework before and sometimes you are given players to watch and you have to do in-depth analysis and then you send it off.
Liverpool are keen to repeat last season’s success – and you don’t want to miss a thing, surely?
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It’s been an extremely interesting start to the season for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
They got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds, before going on to conceded seven in a hammering by Aston Villa.
Virgil van Dijk’s season was ended by injury in the 2-2 draw at Everton, leaving the title favourites looking far less secure at the back – especially with Alisson’s injury worries too.
But there’s no slowing down in what is going to be a busy campaign – with Klopp ensuring his men continue at full pace as they bid for more title glory.
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“What is his body position like at the front post when the ball comes into the box? Does he get tight to his man? Does he stay free and go and attack the ball?
“Little things like that and I would clip these things up on my computer – not just on the ball, off the ball too, of what you’re seeing.
“I recommended a player who signed for Real Madrid. I absolutely adored him but [Liverpool] decided they didn’t want him. He’s done OK – he’s at AC Milan now. Theo Hernandez – bombs on for fun, and he’s a machine.”