Liverpool’s number two coach Pep Lijnders has been backed to succeed Jurgen Klopp and become the club’s permanent head coach.
The 37-year-old is held in high esteem at Liverpool and has been named as Klopp’s perfect foil.
The Dutchman was previously with the Reds for three and half years with the under 16. He helped oversee the progress of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ben Woodburn before subsequently becoming Brendan Rogers assistant, Klopp’s assistant and first field trainer.
He had a brief stint in his country with division 2 side NEC Nijmegen between January 2, 2018 and was sacked on the 17th of May, 2018 after failing to secure promotion to the Eredivisie.
Knowing of his availability, Liverpool brought him back immediately in 2018. His return to the club coincides with Liverpool’s success over the past two years. He has helped the Kops win a plethora of trophies including ending a 30-year wait to win the Premier League title.
Muslu Nalbantoglu, who worked alongside Lijnders at NEC has heaped praise on Pep for his footballing ideas.
Muslu believes the reason he didn’t succeed at NEC was simply because his ideas was too much for the Eerste Divisie side.
“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,” Nalbantoglu said of Lijnders.
“His energy and his trainings were very good. Everybody loved him and still loves him at the club and we have difficult fans when you lose three times, it is very difficult to stay here at NEC.
“He loves football and you see the passion in the trainings. 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.
“What he had in his mind was for a higher level than NEC. With better players, you can do what he wants”.
Muslu is upbeat that Pep can take over from when Klopp who has a contract with European champion till 2024 eventually leaves Liverpool.
“When Jurgen Klopp leaves Liverpool, Pep can take over with those players for sure“, the 36-year-old concluded.