Neco Williams says it was clear early on that Pep Lijnders was an ‘unbelievable’ coach. The Dutchman rose up the ranks at Liverpool.
Pep Lijnders has had a very interesting path to establishing himself as a key coach at Liverpool. Having initially had a breakthrough at PSV Eindhoven, he moved to FC Porto in 2006 and remained there for eight years.
A move to Liverpool materialised in 2014, however, with Lijnders working with Brendan Rodgers and, later, Jurgen Klopp. Though he did leave the club in 2018 in an attempt at a head coaching role.
Things didn’t work out at NEC, however, and Lijnders returned to Liverpool later that year.
Everything since has been quite remarkable. The Dutchman has played a key role alongside Klopp in Liverpool’s success over the last few years.
The Reds won the Champions League in his first year back, followed by the Premier League title. Intriguingly, his return came exactly as Klopp’s long-time no.2 Zeljko Buvac left Liverpool are went out on his own.
Lijnders stepped into the role with tremendous success. But according to Neco Williams, Lijnders should surprise anyone.
Williams on Lijnders
“With Pep, I think he was the U16 coach when I was 15, but I was playing a few games and I had Pep then,” Williams told Liverpoolfc.com.
“You could tell then from when I was training with him that he was an unbelievable coach.
“He has a massive trust in all the young players that come up, train and play games.”
You can see that influence in Liverpool over the last few years. There is increasing trust in young players, with several getting first-team action since 2019.
That’s seen some, like Williams, carve out places in the squad as backup. Others, like Harvey Elliott, were handed starting XI roles in massive games.
It’s another example of how good the setup is at Liverpool. Beyond elite players and an elite manager, the Reds boast incredible talent up and down the staff.