Liverpool have started their preparations for next season, offloading deadwood and bringing in fresh talent. Whilst the signing of Kostas Tsimikas is likely to dominate the Reds’ news cycle, the Greek isn’t the only addition of the last week. Liverpool have appointed Gary O’Neil as U23s assistant manager under Barry Lewtas. The Englishman apparently nearly signed for Liverpool in 2007.

Liverpool have appointed Gary O'Neil as U23s assistant manager.

Liverpool have appointed Gary O’Neil as U23s assistant manager. (Photo by Kevin Barnes – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Who is the new coach?

Gary O’Neil had a journeyed career in English football. The 37-year-old played as a midfielder up and down the country.

The coach had spells at Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers to name but a few.

O’Neil appeared for England at youth level but never managed to crack the senior side.

Liverpool appoint O’Neil

Liverpool have appointed Gary O’Neil as U23s assistant manager, working with Barry Lewtas.

Lewtas himself was recently promoted to U23s boss following a successful tenure as U18s boss and the loss of Neil Critchley to Blackpool.

The new coach is over the moon with his new role, he told the official club site:

“I think as a team, me and Barry will work very well and there’s some fantastic players to work with. For me to have the opportunity to work with such a talented group of young players at such an early part of my coaching career, I feel very privileged.”

Near miss with Benitez

This isn’t the first time that O’Neil has had his eyes on a Liverpool move, though it’s the first time it materialised.

 

The former midfielder told TalkSPORT last August that before he joined Middlesbrough he nearly signed for Liverpool but the deal fell through, saying:

“Just before I left Portsmouth to go to Middlesbrough I had Liverpool (lined up) when Rafa Benitez was in charge. I got a phone call off an agent I didn’t know saying ‘If you don’t let me do it or us do it then it’s not going to happen’.

“I was like “I’ve been with my guy for ages, it’s all done”.

“I got a call off my agent a couple of days later saying they’d pulled it.”

What RTK has to say

At least we know that he wants to be here, by all accounts the ex-midfielder was excited to move to Anfield back in the day.

It is encouraging to see the club setting up the coaching staff early in the pre-season to ensure thorough preparation for the youngsters for the coming campaign.

Fingers crossed the appointment pays dividends and we see even more young Scousers breaking through in the coming years.

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