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Pepijn Lijnders explains decision to leave Liverpool – not in running to replace Klopp


The news of Jurgen Klopp‘s departure at the end of the season also brought with it the exit of his coaches, including Pepijn Lijnders, who has now himself explained his reason to leave Anfield.

Klopp dropped a bombshell last week when he announced the 2023/24 was to be his last at the helm, and his exit will also see Lijnders, Peter Krawietz and Vitor Matos follow him out of the club.

It instantly ruled Lijnders out of the running to replace Klopp, who, was quick to declare both his assistant and Matos “ready” to take on a new challenge elsewhere.

Now, Lijnders himself has explained his decision to leave the club after serving in various roles for 10 years.

“I owe this club everything,” he told the club’s website. “They don’t owe me anything, to be honest. It’s 10 years full of dedication.

PARIS, FRANCE - Saturday, May 28, 2022: Liverpool's elite development coach Vitor Matos (L) and first-team development coach Pepijn Lijnders before the UEFA Champions League Final game between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid CF at the Stade de France. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I always said I will finish with Jurgen; the moment I will not assist anyone else, that’s the moment I will go and I will manage. That was always the case.

“So when we spoke, it was clear for me: OK, then I go and manage, and we end this project together [that] we started. But yeah, it’s not easy.

“My boys, my wife; my boys are two proper Scousers and their whole life they will be. Maybe posh ones! But still! I cannot say thank you enough to everybody involved. I’m grateful.

“Mike [Gordon] and myself had a good talk later, I’m really grateful for that and that makes me [feel] as well that I can leave the club consciously.”

A new chapter awaits, then, in the summer, but what that entails is still yet to be determined, though he did hint that Matos will be alongside him in whatever role he takes on next.

“I hope I can give the same emotions and the same joy to the fans in the future, to the new club,” Lijnders explained on what the future holds.

“I really believe that it’s a natural progression, how we led this club for the last years, so that’s really cool and I can’t wait to start.

“But probably in a few months’ time I will sit down with my manager, now is not the time, but then I will see what kind of options do I have, which club really wants [me], and in that moment I will make a decision that is for me good, hopefully for Vitor what is good and hopefully for my family.

“Yeah, truly and from the bottom of my heart, I just hope that our paths cross again in the future – that would be absolutely unbelievable.”