Liverpool invested heavily in their squad this summer, pumping £170million into the team in the form of Fabinho, Naby Keita, Xherdan Shaqiri and Alisson Becker; manager Jurgen Klopp essentially threw down the gauntlet to the rest of the Premier League with his perhaps uncharacteristic spending, and has been full of praise for his players since pre-season began.
Recently however, the Reds boss was also keen to highlight the importance of his backroom staff. Writing in the official club matchday programme, he said:
“It is important to mention a returning individual within our own camp: Pepijn Lijnders.
“I cannot being to tell you how positive it is for Liverpool Football Club that we have Pep back and in such a senior capacity.
“He is totally committed to the best values we hold; his influence this season and for seasons to come will be important for the entire football operations and I think we have someone who is world class as a coach but also as a person.”
Lijnders spent three-and-a-half years at Liverpool before taking charge of NEC Nijmegen in January for a brief time, and returns to fill the void left by first assistant coach Zeljko Buvac in a more senior role. Buvac – dubbed “the Brain” by Klopp – departed in April due to personal reasons and was linked at the time to a number of managerial roles across Europe. He is now highly unlikely to return to the club.
Klopp also praised second assistant coach Peter Krawietz, who followed him to Liverpool in October 2015.
“Likewise with Peter Krawietz, who has been with me throughout my time at Liverpool and previously at Dortmund and Mainz. I have complete trust in Pete and know he is someone who will work non-stop to make sure we are the best prepared for every challenge we face.
“I feel very blessed to be supported by both of them, as well as John Achterberg, Andreas Kornmayer and the countless others at Melwood who are vital to us.”
Pep Lijnders is currently without an official title at the club after his recent return, but will no doubt have his position clarified fully in the near future.