Youth has always been an important part of Liverpool FC. The Reds greatest ever captain, Steven Gerrard, was a homegrown lad. The most creative player in the squad currently is another Melwood product: Trent Alexander-Arnold. The Reds academy recently added Vitor Matos to the coaching staff. Pep Lijnders has hailed Matos as Liverpool’s “best signing this season”.
Matos arrived at Anfield by way of Porto. The 31 year old worked with Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders at the Portuguese club. The new staff member has joined as elite development coach, the role held by Lijnders before he stepped up to assist Jürgen Klopp.
The club’s official site broadcasted Pep Lijnders pre-match press conference ahead of the Reds EFL Cup tie with Arsenal on Wednesday. During the gathering Lijnders told the media, “For me, he is our best signing this season…He is a talented coach, a very intelligent coach. We have already seen the impact he has made on them.”
The Dutchman went on to describe the Portuguese coach as “the connector”, detailing his ability to link all the different parts of the club involved in developing an academy player into a first teamer – joining together our academy manager, our first team boss, our sporting director and our loan pathways manager.
It is incredibly encouraging that the Reds are already seeing the benefits of hiring Matos. Whilst Liverpool are enjoying great success at the moment, it is critical that we are able to continue this moving forward. Jürgen Klopp has managed to instill an identity at Anfield, he has unified the squad and the fans. The next step is to make the club more self sufficient, making the academy the best it can be is the first step towards this. Liverpool should be looking to emulate the success that Barcelona’s La Masia had during the early 2000s, Vitor Matos is crucial to this goal.