Famously injury-plagued defender Jonathan Woodgate has joined Liverpool as a scout.
Woodgate, 36, retired in the summer ending an 18-year playing career that included stints at Leeds, Newcastle, Real Madrid, Middlesbrough, Tottenham and Stoke.
Jonathan Woodgate has signed for Liverpool as a scout after retiring from football. pic.twitter.com/qSz1jbyrwm— Paddy Power (@paddypower) August 11, 2016
His attention will now be on helping the Reds' recruitment drive, focusing on continental Europe.
Woodgate spent three years in Madrid from 2004 to 2007 and, having learned the language, is expected to be based in Spain for his new role.
He will also scout in Portugal and may be used by the club to oversee specific targets elsewhere.
Liverpool have brought several players from Spain and Portugal in recent seasons with a modest success rate.
Iago Aspas, Luis Alberto, Joao Carlos Teixeira, Tiago Ilori, Lazar Markovic, Javier Manquillo and Aly Cissokho have all struggled to make an impact at Anfield, though Alberto Moreno remains in the first-team picture.
As someone familiar with football in both territories, Woodgate will be expected to identify players who can flourish under Jurgen Klopp in the Premier League.
Online reaction has unsurprisingly been focused on Woodgate's long history of injuries.
Jonathan Woodgate has injured his hand in the process of signing his contract to be a scout for Liverpool.— Ronan O'Flaherty (@ronanoflaherty) August 11, 2016
I guess Jonathan Woodgate might make a good scout. He spent a lot of time watching games from the stands after all.— Tom J (@tomj191) August 11, 2016
BREAKING NEWS: Jonathan Woodgate to undergo eye surgery. Could be unable to scout for 6-8 months.— ｓｔｅｐｈｅｎ (@_stephenJA) August 11, 2016
Jonathan Woodgate is now a scout at Liverpool?
I give it 1 month before he gets injured watching a player.— CurtisB (@CurtisB_MUFC) August 11, 2016
If whoever runs LFC Twitter had a sense of ironic humour, they'd post about Liverpool's big new signing, Jonathan Woodgate.— John O'Sullivan (@NotoriousJOS) August 11, 2016