Premier League • England

Klopp hints key Liverpool cog could leave in vow to let ‘outstanding’ figure flourish elsewhere

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp alongside assistant Pep Lijnders

Jurgen Klopp has promised he won’t stand in Pep Lijnders’ way if the offer of a permanent managerial job elsewhere comes up.

Klopp put pen to paper on a new two-year extension at Anfield earlier this week. That will see the German remain at Liverpool’s helm until 2026, though he was not alone in extending his stay.

Assistant managers Peter Krawietz  and Pepijn Lijnders also committed their futures to the club.

Dutchman Lijnders took charge against Chelsea earlier this season when Klopp was forced to miss out through Covid.

The 39-year-old has been with the Reds since 2018 and seemingly harbours his own ambitions of being a main man in the future.

Klopp reckons his trusted lieutenant will make an “outstanding” manager down the line. And despite committing his future to Liverpool until 2026, Klopp suggested he won’t stand in Lijnders’ way if opportunity knocks.

“I know Pep will be an outstanding manager in the future,” Klopp said (via the Independent).

“I really enjoy working together – and Pete Krawietz – we bought fully into this project. And that’s it. He is not even 40 yet so that is a long time after all this to be by yourself. At the moment we all enjoy the work here together.

Lijnders’ own ambitions “won’t stop” – Klopp

“His own ambitions will never stop and I will never stop it. I am a pretty experienced, elder generation manager. That is crazy to say but it is the truth. My big strength is I bring in really good people and then let them flourish.

“It doesn’t always mean I tell them: ‘No, no, no we did it in the past like this.’ No, I listen [to] them, because they are much closer because they are doing their badges at the moment.

“It is really interesting what do they tell you now, and now what I can tell them what we did in the past.

“Life is progress and you keep up with all the developments around you and that is what we do. And they keep me on track and I keep them calm and in line and obviously I can help a little bit.

“We have now an agreement for another while and everybody is really happy for a while. And we don’t hold anyone back.

“What is better? Being first-team coach with massive influence in a world-class club or going out there being the main man in the wrong club and lose more often than not? So we are all smart enough to know not to take this situation for granted.

“The club has given us the opportunity to build a really good football team. Now we have it so let’s try to be as successful as possible.”