Liverpool have secured Jurgen Klopp for another two years – and he has now heaped praise on assistant coach Pepijn Lijnders with his future settled too.
Rumours spread like wildfire on Thursday morning suggesting that Klopp would be staying at Liverpool for a little longer than planned.
Klopp’s deal was set to expire in 2024 and the expectation was that he would leave for a sabbatical.
Instead, Klopp has now extended his contract by another two years. That now means that the German will be staying with Liverpool until 2026.
That’s an absolute nightmare for other Premier League clubs but a dream for the Reds, who don’t have to worry about Klopp going anywhere.
There is even better news for Liverpool as Klopp isn’t the only one staying put at Anfield.
Liverpool have also sorted out deals for Klopp’s backroom staff, including assistant coaches Peter Krawietz and Pepijn Lijnders.
Lijnders is maybe the best-known of the two having been a prominent figure alongside Klopp in recent times.
The Dutchman has notably taken press conferences before Carabao Cup games this season with Klopp giving him greater responsibilities.
Lijnders was actually brought to Liverpool by Brendan Rodgers and briefly left the club to manage NEC Nijmegen before returning.
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The 39-year-old is now set to be with Klopp for another four years and the Liverpool boss couldn’t be happier.
Speaking to Liverpool’s official website on Thursday, Klopp suggested that he has never met anybody with the energy and determination Lijnders shows.
Klopp also predicted a ‘long and successful career’ for Lijnders in the coming years, believing there are big things to come.
“As for Pep, wow,” said Klopp. “I have been lucky enough to meet many, many people in football during my time in the game and I don’t think I have ever met anyone with the energy and enthusiasm he has for this game.”
“I think I have said in the past, there is nothing he does not know about this sport. His passion for it is remarkable and his enthusiasm in training each day is infectious. Since he came back to us in 2018, it has been a privilege to watch him grow and, for sure, he has a long and successful career ahead of him in football,” he added.
With a couple of days to think about this, we wonder… could Klopp see Lijnders as his own replacement at Liverpool?
All the talk is about Steven Gerrard eventually replacing Klopp as Liverpool boss, though he will have to improve things at Aston Villa first.
Yet what if the replacement is actually Lijnders?
In terms of continuity, Lijnders could be perfect; few will understand Klopp’s approach and style of play better than him.
Lijnders isn’t even 40 yet, so he has plenty of time to learn more from Klopp and eventually be in a position to take over in his mid-40’s.
That seems perfect for Lijnders, and unless a truly amazing offer from elsewhere arrives, we can see him pipping Gerrard to the hot seat in 2026.