When (hopefully not if) Jurgen Klopp is confirmed as Liverpool manager, he’s widely expected to bring his successful coaching staff with him from his days at Borussia Dortmund, confirm Sky Sports, who have profiled the backroom team.
Sean O’Driscoll and Gary McAllister are currently on board, as is Pep Ljinders, and while the latter could return to his role with the academy, the former pair might be shown an early exit following their summer appointments.
These are the men expected to replace them:
Zeljko Buvac – Assistant manager
The best known of Klopp’s backroom staff by some distance is the quiet assistant known as ‘The brain’ due to his immense tactical knowledge.
“Zeljko is a football genius, a master of every practice drill,” Klopp says, while Paul Lambert, a Champions League winner with Dortund, called the 54-year-old: “Very quiet, but excellent. I can understand why Jurgen calls him that [‘The Brain’]. I have seen him working; he does not say much, but is very astute on the game.”
Our ex-midfielder Nuri Sahin has also seen how well the pair work: “Zeljko Buvac is basically Klopp’s twin,” Sahin told the Bundesliga website. “Both of them see football in exactly the same way.”
Buvac played with Klopp for Mainz in the early 1990s, but like many distinguished coaches, had a fairly run of the mill playing career. He’s worked as Klopp’s assistant manager for 14 years straight since 2001, taking a similar break as Klopp decided to stand down – but he’s a practical certainty to join him at Anfield.
Interestingly, the news of Klopp joining Liverpool was originally broke by Bosnian newspaper Pravdabl, who’d spoken with Bosnian Buvac at the end of last week as Brendan Rodgers was fired.