Jurgen Klopp has been singing the praises of his assistant Pep Lijnders, the Dutch coach who has effectively replaced Zeljko Buvac as his number two at the club.
Lijnders worked at the Academy before making the step up to the first team, initially under Brendan Rodgers. That Klopp retained him when most of the rest of the backroom staff were replaced when Rodgers was sacked shows just how highly thought of he is.
According to the Liverpool ECHO, Klopp enthused: “Pep, I could write a book about him, about what a big influence he had, about what a fantastic young – I still don’t know what his title is – assistant manager!
“What a fantastic young coach he is, what a lively presence he is, how big the influence of his optimism is and how lively he is on the training pitch. It is just a fact.
“I was like that when I was young and I am not like that any more, that’s how it is.”
Klopp himself, of course, has a huge influence on the team, but his backroom staff are a massive part of the operation, too.
Lijnders had a few months as a number one in Holland’s second division last year, but when that didn’t work out, he was welcomed back with open arms. The players love him and so does Klopp.
Without Lijnders, it is no exaggeration to suggest the Reds’ progress over the last couple of seasons would not have been possible – hopefully, he’s not tempted by another offer to go and be a head coach, and he can stay with the Reds in his current capacity for the foreseeable future.