Pako Ayestaran was the unsung hero of Rafa Benitez’s tenure at the Liverpool helm, in many people’s eyes.
The Spaniard, who worked as our former manager’s assistant, did superb work on the training field, and was respected in the game as a tactical expert and excellent man manager, too.
And it appears we tried to lure him back to Anfield to work under Brendan Rodgers this summer, as rumours at the time suggested, if we can interpret anything by these quotes.
“I had opportunities, even this year, to go back to England and maybe take another [coaching] role,” Ayestaran told Click Liverpool.
“But I took the decision a few years ago that I needed to take my own path and I have many things to express myself.
“I want to be part of the big decisions on the clubs. Sometimes this depends on the hierarchy and it’s the reason why I took the decision.
“From now on, I don’t think I will go back to being an assistant or take another role in any other club.”
Ayestaran was a candidate to replace the outgoing Colin Pascoe, who was sacked in the summer along with Mike Marsh, but Sean O’Driscoll eventually replaced Pascoe as Rodgers’ assistant, while Gary McAllister joined the backroom staff.
It’s not a surprise though that the 52-year-old has a taste for management, having won a treble with Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2014/15, his only year in charge.
This summer, Pako joined Santos Laguna in the Mexican league, and it wouldn’t surprise if he one day returned to Europe and took a more high-profile job.