Liverpool today have officially completed the signing of a new coach brought in to fill the role Elite Development Coach role that had first been filled by Pepijn Lijnders but had fallen vacant following his promotion to assistant manager.
“We’ve worked for a while on it,” Klopp said of the club’s newest coaching signing, former Porto B assistant manager Vitor Matos. “We had the idea that it makes real sense because we have so many outstanding, young boys.
“In pre-season, they are with us and we need them for training, for the games and all that stuff. But then the season starts and all the big guns come back and we don’t want to give them the feeling they are now a bit further away again.”
Under Klopp, Liverpool have always sought to work promising academy players into first team during training sessions. But with games coming twice a week and a need to prepare those first team players, there isn’t always time to focus on the kids.
Doing that in training, as well as acting as something of a liaison between academy and first team for the younger players, was Lijnders’ role with the club when Klopp signed on to manage the team back in 2015.
And with the academy and first team set to merge at the club’s new training facilities next summer, there was a need now that Lijnders is Klopp’s assistant and focused on the first team to bring in a new man to fill that role.
“We thought it made sense that they really get their specific coach again, what Pep did years ago when I came in,” Klopp added. “I loved the fact I got a sensational assistant manager [when Lijnders was promoted], but we lost the development coach.
“[Matos] has worked at different clubs, but is educated at Porto, which is good for us because Pep is from there as well. He had made his own experience already and now we can all get the benefit of that. It will be great for the boys