Klopp tipped to appoint Liverpool old boy as Zeljko Buvac replacement

Date published: Thursday 17th May 2018 11:09 - James Marshment

Pepijn Lijnders (l): Liverpool development coach

Liverpool have been linked with a move to appoint Pepijn Lijnders as Jurgen Klopp’s new No 2 and as a successor to Zeljko Buvac.

The Dutchman was a highly-regarded member of Klopp’s backroom team, having initially moved to Liverpool in 2014 as part of Brendan Rodgers’ coaching team.

But Lijnders left Anfield in January of this year to take up a job as coach of NEC Nijmegen in the Eerste Divisie.

His sole objective was to earn the club promotion back to the Eredivisie, but after NEC were beaten in a two-legged play-off by Emmen, Lijnders has now parted ways.

In a statement on the club’s website, Lijnders said: “Firstly, I want to thank my immediate daily staff, they have given everything and were very motivated to bring NEC success.

“Top and foremost professionals who give character to the club from the inside out.

“Secondly, I want to wish the club success, I wanted to build with a lot of drive, to form a new real NEC team but I feel that it is better to step out and open the door for a new coach who has the complete confidence enjoy.”

The news has predictably led to suggestions that his departure will lead to a return to Anfield and the role of Klopp’s No 2 at Anfield

The Reds boss has been working without an assistant since the surprise departure of Buvac earlier this month shortly before Liverpool’s 4-2 defeat to Roma which secured a 7-6 aggregate success in the Champions League semi-finals.

Buvac has only been placed on temporary leave by Liverpool and could yet return to his role at Anfield.

However, after a reported falling out with Klopp, the possibility of Buvac stepping back in any time soon seems unlikely – and that could lead Liverpool to turn to their former coach.

While there has been no comment on the Liverpool end about this, Lijnders would be able to slot effortlessly into Klopp’s set-up and could give the club a timely boost ahead of next Saturday’s Champions League final with defending champions Real Madrid.

 

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