Liverpool assistant coach and Jurgen Klopp's right-hand man Pep Lijnders has already achieved what he set out to do come the end of the season.

The Dutchman's plan upon leaving Liverpool was to forge his own career in management and in advance of that has been named the new head coach of Red Bull Salzburg. The Reds' elite development coach Vitor Matos will join him as assistant when the duo depart Liverpool following this weekend.

Lijnders has agreed a three-year contract running until the summer of 2027 with the Austria Bundesliga side. It sees the 41-year-old make a return to management after a stint with NEC in 2018.

The Liverpool coach's departure was already established after Klopp made the announcement that his time on Merseyside was coming to an end. Lijnders explained his deep connection with the club in January as he confirmed plans to take the hot seat in a new club.

"Yeah, 10 years of the club and my boys don’t know anything else, they are Scousers. I owe this club everything," he said.

"They don’t owe me anything, to be honest. It’s 10 years full of dedication. I always said I will finish with Jürgen; the moment I will not assist anyone else, that’s the moment I will go and I will manage. That was always the case.

"So when we spoke, it was clear for me: OK, then I go and manage, and we end this project together [that] we started. But yeah, it’s not easy. My boys, my wife; my boys are two proper Scousers and their whole life they will be. Maybe posh ones! But still! I cannot say thank you enough to everybody involved. I’m grateful. Mike [Gordon] and myself had a good talk later, I’m really grateful for that and that makes me [feel] as well that I can leave the club consciously."

Lijnders accepted he will miss the connection he made with supporters. "Yeah, it’s my club, no? It’s our club," he added.

"The project was so strong – a big compliment to the whole structure, from the sporting directors we had, from the ownership of course. It’s sad that we are leaving but I’m really proud that we are part of the history now of this club. A history full of cups; a history full of talent, signings moulded, created, pushed into world-class players. A history full of special games.

"Our football philosophy is always like this, we want to give joy and emotions to the fans. Without them, nothing would have been possible, they were always on our side, wherever we go they pushed us to limits to create these games, and they let us fly so often. Big thanks to them because they make this club really special; their passion, what they have been through. And that’s something I will really miss."

Despite looking for jobs elsewhere Lijnders has his eye on a return to Anfield in the future. The coach said: "Yeah, truly and from the bottom of my heart, I just hope that our paths cross again in the future – that would be absolutely unbelievable."

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2024-05-15T15:01:22Z dg43tfdfdgfd