James Pearce has revealed two names who could succeed Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, claiming both Pep Lijnders and Julian Nagelsmann will be of interest to the club.
Speaking in a Q&A for The Athletic, Pearce was asked about potential replacements for when Klopp hangs up his glasses – the German has often alluded to the fact that he does not want stay in the game for too long. Pearce named Lijnders, who has been Klopp’s assistant since the departure of Zeljko Buvac, and Nagelsmann, who recently became the youngest manager ever to participate in a Champions League knockout match. There was no mention of Steven Gerrard, who has been touted to replace Klopp in the past.
🗣️ James Pearce on potential Klopp successor: Pep Lijnders is massively respected by the owners and is a popular figure in the club. He would certainly be part of the conversation
If Julian Nagelsmann career remains on an upward curve at that time he’s bound to be of interest too
— LFC Transfer Room (@LFCTransferRoom) March 17, 2020
Lijnders would somehow simultaneously be both the more trusted choice and a completely unknown quantity, given that he knows the club inside and out but has very little senior managerial experience. The 37 year-old’s only time spent as the manager of a first-team was at NEC Nijmegen, where he stayed for 22 games and picked up just 1.68 points per match.
Of course, what he lacks in formal experience he makes up for with his familiarity with the squad and Klopp’s own tactics, having been alongside the enigmatic boss for an incredible couple of seasons.
Nagelsmann meanwhile has received all sorts of plaudits in recent times, with the likes of PSG boss Thomas Tuchel and Klopp himself paying homage to his excellence. At just 32, the German has already secured Champions League football at Hoffenheim – the club had never made it to Europe’s elite competition before – and pushed RB Leipzig right to the cusp of challenging Bayern Munich’s dominance, sitting just five points behind the Bundesliga leaders.
With Gerrard currently struggling at Rangers, the two names pinpointed by Pearce could well be the ones in the frame come the end of Klopp’s contract in 2024.
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