Exclusive: Liverpool expert responds to surprise claim coach with “excellent” credentials could replace Klopp

Liverpool FC journalist Neil Jones has commented on the speculation that Jurgen Klopp’s current assistant manager Pep Lijnders could replace him as the club’s head coach next season.

Speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside for his latest Daily Briefing column, Jones made it clear that he wasn’t at all convinced by the stories, with Lijnders surely not experienced enough to take on such a big job.

Klopp has officially announced that he’ll be stepping down as Liverpool manager at the end of the season, and though Lijnders has done fine work as his assistant, it is surely more likely that we’ll see one of the bigger names linked with the job, such as Xabi Alonso or Roberto De Zerbi, eventually land the role.

Jones admits that Lijnders has excellent coaching credentials, but he simply lacks that experience of being the number one in the dugout, and it simply seems like too much of a gamble for the Merseyside giants to go for someone like him to replace a club legend who has been one of the finest managers in world football for over a decade now.

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Lijnders

Lijnders to Liverpool rumours played down by expert

“There has again been some talk of Pep Lijnders being an option to replace Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager, but I would take that talk with a hefty pinch of salt,” Jones said.

“I don’t think there’s any chance Lijnders will get the top job at this stage, and nor should he either. If we are questioning the experience of Xabi Alonso, Ruben Amorim or Roberto De Zerbi, then we have to do the same with Lijnders, whose senior managerial career amounts to a few months at NEC Nijmegen.

“There’s no question that he is a big figure, day-to-day, at Liverpool, and his coaching credentials are excellent, but I think even he would accept that if he is looking to re-start his career as a head coach, he needs to go and prove himself elsewhere before stepping into the big job on Merseyside. I expect to see him in the dugout somewhere next season, just not at Anfield.”



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