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Jurgen Klopp pays tribute to departing coach Pepijn Lijnders

Klopp pays tribute to departing coach Lijnders
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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says that he is "gutted" to lose coach Pepijn Lijnders to Dutch side NEC.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has admitted to feeling "a strange mix of emotions" after losing backroom staff member Pepijn Lijnders.

The 34-year-old has left Anfield with immediate effect to take up a managerial position with Eerste Divisie side NEC.

Lijnders had been part of the Reds' coaching setup since 2014, spending time as Under-16s boss and then being promoted to first-team development coach.

Klopp is sad to say goodbye to one of his right-hand men, but says that he could not begrudge the Dutchman the chance to take up a big opportunity elsewhere.

"Firstly, I am gutted to be losing such a valuable member of our coaching team and such a brilliant person from our group," he told the club's official website. "But that is tempered by the fact I am very excited for him to have this opportunity and as much as we would have loved for him to remain with us, we cannot stand in his way for what is a fantastic opportunity.

"It is hard to undersell the role Pep played in helping us settle, educating us about football life in England and then contributing ideas to the progress and development of this team. He has such a big football brain, but it's his willingness to learn and absorb information and always look to improve and be better as a coach that makes him stand out.

"Of course, one of his biggest legacies at LFC will be the development and integration into the first-team squad of so many young and exciting players. The role he played in making us aware of these players and then helping us get the best out of them will have a lasting impact here, beyond him leaving.

"On the personal side, his wonderful family have also become part of our lives and we will miss them so much. There will be no greater supporter of NEC Nijmegen in Liverpool than me and I know this is the very start of a long journey for Pep – one where he will undoubtedly become a success."

Liverpool find themselves fourth in the Premier League table, six points above Arsenal who have a game in hand to play.


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