Ever since Pepijn Lijnders stepped up to fill the assistant manager role previously filled by Željko Buvač, Liverpool have left the role of first team development coach vacant, but that is expected to change with the appointment of Porto B assistant manager Vitor Matos.
Matos, who is just 31 years of age, has spent most of his coaching career at Porto, signing on with them in 2011 while Lijnders was working in their academy. In 2016, he headed to China for two years, coaching there before returning to Porto B as the assistant manager.
Now, he will join the Reds according to widespread reports from journalists with ties to the club, taking on the role Lijnders pioneered at the club—one aimed at linking the academy with the first team—when he was appointed to it a year before Jürgen Klopp took charge.
While the role had been left vacant when Lijnders left briefly for Holland and remained so when he returned to take on a first team role, eventually replacing Buvac, it was seen as a priority to bring in a new coach to fill it before the first team and academy are merged.
That will happen next summer, when the club’s new training facility in Kirkby opens. Before then, though—perhaps as early as by the end of the week—Matos will become the new first team development coach while Lijnders continues in his role as Klopp’s assistant.