Liverpool have confirmed the arrival of a new coach in 31-year-old Portuguese trainer Vitor Matos.
He’s been at FC Porto for some years and knows Pep Lijnders from the Dutchman’s time there.
Jurgen Klopp has explained that Matos will bridge the gap between the Academy and the first-team and provide support for our young players who are filtering between the two.
The likes of Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Ki-Jana Hoever, Yasser Larouci and Rhian Brewster all have genuine chances of more minutes this season – with all but the left-back appearing in our 2-0 victory over MK Dons in the EFL Cup last week.
“We’ve worked for a while on it. We had the idea that it makes real sense because we have so many outstanding, young boys,” Klopp told the official website.
“The situation is a little bit like this: if you are in pre-season, they are with us and we need them for training, for the games and all that stuff. But then the season starts and all the big guns come back and we don’t want to give them the feeling they are now a bit further away again.
“So we thought it made sense that they really get their specific coach again what Pep did years ago when I came in. I loved the fact I got a sensational assistant manager, but we lost the development coach a little bit.
“We had to fill that void and we’ve done that with a really great guy, an outstanding coach. Young and experienced, you don’t get that a lot. A kind of guy who is used to having six or seven sessions a day.
“He is smart, his English is very good – which is obviously important – and he has worked at different clubs, but is educated at Porto, which is good for us because Pep is from there as well.
“He had made his own experience already and now we can all get the benefit of that. It will be great for the boys 100 per cent.
“We have to introduce him to the boys, but he will do that today.”
Perhaps in the future, Matos will follow the same path as Lijnders and become Liverpool’s assistant manager, with the Dutchman his boss following Klopp’s eventual departure!
Obviously we don’t want that to happen for a very long time, but the foundations at the club in the background seem so strong now that we should be looking to build upon them an create a legacy that’ll last over a decade.
The youngster we are most excited about, whose potential Matos will no doubt be charged with maximising, is Elliott.
The 16-year-old’s technical skills and vision belie his age, as does his confidence. Let’s hope we see him in the next round, v Arsenal.