Home Sports Liverpool’s new sporting director Richard Hughes arrives with an impressive transfer record from his time at Bournemouth – with Solanke, Ake and Mings all on his resume… but what are his top five bits of business?

Liverpool’s new sporting director Richard Hughes arrives with an impressive transfer record from his time at Bournemouth – with Solanke, Ake and Mings all on his resume… but what are his top five bits of business?

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Liverpool have appointed former Bournemouth boss Richard Hughes as their sporting director

On Wednesday it was confirmed that Richard Hughes will be Liverpool’s new sporting director.

Movement between Bournemouth and Liverpool is a path that appears to be well-trodden by players – with Dominic Solanke, Brad Smith and Jordan Ibe all having made switches between the two clubs.

This makes it somewhat surprising that the Scot would follow suit off the pitch after his stint on the Dorset Coast.

His first job at the club will not be easy. Finding a replacement for Jurgen Klopp – a man who has won four domestic cups, a Premier League and a Champions League during his time at the club – is easier said than done.

But the man who brought Andoni Iraola to Dean Court has a track record that suggests he is the right man to take on the challenge. Here, Mail Sport takes a look at Richard Hughes’ top five moves in the transfer market.

Liverpool have appointed former Bournemouth boss Richard Hughes as their sporting director

Liverpool have appointed former Bournemouth boss Richard Hughes as their sporting director

During his time at Bournemouth, Hughes made a number of impressive transfer deals

During his time at Bournemouth, Hughes made a number of impressive transfer deals

During his time at Bournemouth, Hughes made a number of impressive transfer deals

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A 22-year-old with clubs such as Ipswich and Chippenham on his CV, it was not obvious what kind of player Mings would become when he signed for Bournemouth for £8m.

17 Premier League appearances across three and a half seasons did little to change this perception.

But a loan spell at Aston Villa was followed up with a £20m transfer fee and eventually an English call-up to Mings.

Hughes’ eye for new talent alongside his financial acumen both proved to be key to the £12 million profit the Cherries received through this deal.

4. Callum Wilson

After a 21-goal season in League One for Coventry City, Wilson was brought to the club for £3 million.

Wilson was an unproven talent at the time with only a single championship cameo appearance to his name.

Despite a strong showing for Coventry in the 2013/14 season, Wilson had only played one full season of football at professional level, having spent his previous seasons turning out for the likes of Kettering Town and Tamworth.

Six years later he had 67 goals for the club in all competitions and became Bournemouth’s first ever player to be called up by England while at the club.

Wilson moved to Newcastle after Bournemouth’s relegation when the Cherries received £20m in return – a fee over six times what they had spent to bring him in.

The Cherries made a £12m profit on defender Tyrone Mings - who is now at Aston Villa

The Cherries made a £12m profit on defender Tyrone Mings - who is now at Aston Villa

The Cherries made a £12m profit on defender Tyrone Mings – who is now at Aston Villa

England international Callum Wilson was signed for just £3m back in 2014 (pictured in 2020)

England international Callum Wilson was signed for just £3m back in 2014 (pictured in 2020)

England international Callum Wilson was signed for just £3m back in 2014 (pictured in 2020)

3. Aaron Ramsdale

In 2017, Ramsdale joined Bournemouth from Sheffield United for £800,000.

He then completed loan spells at Chesterfield and Wimbledon – alongside 37 appearances for the club – before being sent back the other way.

Bournemouth pocketed £18.5m after just one season as the club’s first choice, having made a £17.7m profit for the now Arsenal keeper.

2. Dominic Solanke

A transfer fee of £19 million, followed by 42 Premier League appearances and three goals, is not a sign of shrewd transfer business.

But when his move was questioned, Hughes simply replied: ‘Look at the product after a year and a half instead of a week and a half’s time’.

Now it is clear that both Hughes and Solanke have been confirmed.

29 goals in 2021-22 sent Bournemouth back into the top flight, while only Ollie Watkins and Erling Haaland have scored more Premier League goals than him this season.

1. Nathan Åke

Ake swapped London for the south coast in 2017 for £20m.

After three seasons at the club, he left in 2020 following their relegation. His £41million sale to Manchester City is the club’s record sale and it is clear that Ake has justified the fee since leaving.

A treble, a clean sheet in a Champions League final and the pursuit of a fourth league title in a row have shown Ake’s ability.

Not to mention the £21m profit Hughes pocketed for the club on his sale.

Hughes signed goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale from Sheffield United for just £800,000

Hughes bought goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale from Sheffield United for just £800,000

Hughes bought goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale from Sheffield United for just £800,000

Nathan Ake is the club's record sale after leaving the Cherries for Man City for £41m. in 2020

Nathan Ake is the club's record sale after leaving the Cherries for Man City for £41m. in 2020

Nathan Ake is the club’s record sale after leaving the Cherries for Man City for £41m. in 2020

Some that didn’t work

Admittedly, Hughes’ signings at The Cherries have by no means all been perfect.

In fact, he himself once said: ‘If you sign 20 players and a third of them can be a failure, it’s generally a success’.

Jordan Ibe (£15m), Benik Afobe (£10m), Brad Smith (£3m) and Lewis Grabban (£8m) have all been unsuccessful during Hughes’ time at the club.

But his successes are still clear to see and he will hope that some of that success travels with him when he steps into the role at Liverpool.

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