Damien Comolli has had a hand in a lot of transfer decisions at Liverpool since moving into the Director of Football position in November last year, but club owner John Henry believes that the 38-year-old is one of the best investments the Reds have made.
Comolli has worked as a scout for Arsenal, Tottenham, AS Monaco and Saint-Etienne, and during his time at Liverpool investments have been made in Luis Suarez, Andy Carroll and Jose Enrique.
And Henry believes that while some big players are now being attracted to the Reds as they aim to challenge for European football once more, Comolli has achieved a great deal behind the scenes as well.
“He’s been terrific. No-one has worked harder at the club over the past year. Every day he is focused on what he wants to accomplish,” he explained.
“And his accomplishments thus far – most of them unseen by people outside the club – have been extremely important. He has organised so much so quickly and so well.
“Everyone on the football side has gained a significant respect for Damien and his efforts on the club’s behalf.”
Henry believes that Comolli has made a bigger impact on the club than first thought, with the scout committing to bringing the best players to Liverpool.
“Damien not only has a strong work ethic, but he is highly ethical in his dealings,” he explained.
“That can be a disadvantage from time to time, but over the long-term it is what Liverpool Football Club deserves – what the fans of this club deserve.
“He represents us extremely well – not just in transfer work, but in a number of the most important aspects of the operation.”
Kenny Dalglish has worked alongside Comolli since taking over the managerial position at Liverpool, and while some predicted problems when the two disagreed, Henry believes that the arrangement works perfectly well.
He told reporters: “I don’t think it was a gamble at all. I believe not having a director of football is a gamble and Kenny agrees with that perception.
“The manager’s job is huge in football throughout the world for large clubs. No-one person can be responsible for every aspect of the operation.
“I was speaking with Kenny about it this week and he doesn’t see that much difference between our model and the model of Liverpool when he was managing before.
“It’s up to Damien and his staff to identify, study and acquire the right players, but Kenny always has the ultimate say.”
Henry also revealed that the pair get along away from work as well as on the job.
“The two of them work very, very well with each other. I see them laugh a lot and the banter is fun. But they are both extremely serious in their desire to see this club succeed on all levels," he added.
“It’s a rebuilding process. From that perspective it’s been a great first year. Stability, clarity and purpose have been established.
“A philosophy had been re-established. And just as importantly there is a strong trust that has developed among staff and has been translated into the dressing room.”