Liverpool acquired Vitor Matos from FC Porto earlier this season to vacate the role that Pep Lijnders used to occupy, bridging the gap between the Academy and the first team.
At the time, Lijnders himself proclaimed bringing Matos in the most important signing of the season – and it seems the Portuguese was never going to turn the opportunity down once it presented itself.
He told LiverpoolFC.com: “After the phone rang, it started already bubbling inside of me: ‘This is Liverpool and you can never say no!’.
“When you come to the club, when you enter into the club for the first time, the first time you go for a training session, the first time you go to the dressing room – it’s a feeling that you will never forget.
“Love is something that you cannot explain but is something that you feel. For me, Liverpool is the same thing. More than everything you feel the club. You feel that it is a club with a massive history, a club with a strong personality, with a big culture and I love these kinds of clubs.
“The connection that we have in the club and with the fans, it’s unbelievable.”
If Matos can go on to have the same impact on the club that Lijnders has had, it will have proven to be a very shrewd signing indeed.
Both came from Porto to work in the same role, but the Dutchman has since become Jurgen Klopp’s assistant and could replace the German in the main hot seat when he comes to depart.
With an incredibly talented group of young players coming through the Academy at the moment, having a dedicated person to helping them make the step up to Klopp’s side makes a lot of sense.
From next summer, the move will be made slightly easier by the fact that the first team will be leaving Melwood and joining the Academy in Kirkby, once work on an extension has been completed.