Dutch coach touted as a potential successor to Klopp at Anfield

Date published: Monday 3rd August 2020 11:45 - James Holland

Jurgen Klopp Pep Lijnders Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp’s no.2 at Liverpool could become the German’s successor at Anfield, according to a former colleague.

Dutchman Pep Lijnders has been involved with Liverpool since 2014 during two separate spells.

He’s been a vital part of Klopp’s managerial team throughout the club’s success and could take over once the German decides to leave.

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Muslu Nalbantoglu worked with Lijnders during his brief spell at NEC in the Dutch second division. Speaking on the Blood Red Podcast, he said: “What he had in his mind with the NEC players was not realistic.

“Of course, if you work with Mohamed Salah and the names of Liverpool, it is easy to do it with those players.

“His energy and his trainings were very good. Everybody loved him and still loves him at the club.”

Lijnders took charge of NEC in January 2018 while the club was aiming for promotion to the Dutch Eredivisie. He was sacked in May of that same year after failing to gain promotion via the play-offs.

But Nalbantoglu thinks the 37-year-old has more to offer Liverpool: “He loves football and you can see the passion in training. He can never sit down and he was always standing.

“There were trainings that we have never seen before. If the players were a better level, maybe he would still be here.

“When Jurgen Klopp leaves Liverpool, Pep can take over with those players for sure.”

Klopp has been a revelation at Anfield since joining back in 2015. The club has won their first Premier League title, as well as their sixth Champions League trophy, whilst he’s been in charge. They also became world champions by winning the FIFA Club World Cup in December 2019.

Many will speculate about Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard returning to manage the club once he is ready to do so. However, it looks like Lijnders could emerge as a suitable candidate to replace the club’s enigmatic manager in the meantime.

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