Connect with us

ARTICLES

Pep Lijnders backs this current first-team star to become future assistant Liverpool manager

Published

on

Liverpool Assistant Manager Pepijn Lijnders backs James Milner to step into coaching soon

Liverpool’s Dutch Assistant Manager Pepijn Lijnders is confident of James Milner taking up the Dutchman’s job in the near future after he stepped up earlier this year in May’s UEFA Champions League Final.

Since his transfer from Manchester City in 2015, James Milner has put in a shift for the Reds in possibly every outfield position, barring perhaps centre-back and striker. Such is his versatility. Primarily a central midfielder, he has played 291 games for Liverpool, scoring 26 goals and getting 44 assists.

In the last few seasons, he has been used as a makeshift player. Pep Lijnders, in his new book Intensity, backed Milner to have a good career in coaching. (h/t The Mirror).

During Liverpool’s Champions League final earlier this year in May, there were some ticketing issues that caused a delayed kick-off. Gaffer Jurgen Klopp and his number two had to deal with UEFA. Meanwhile, Milner stepped up. He held the squad together and briefed them with an intense message.

James Milner reveals why he extended Liverpool contract.
James Milner reveals why he extended Liverpool contract. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

“The boys were in and out. What do we do? That’s not a good way to start a final anyway, but that’s for both teams, so no excuses there, nothing like that. But in that moment, Milly took the team together, all the backroom staff, everybody there, and the worst thing is I was not even there because I was discussing with the UEFA guy!”

Lijnders also added that the club is made of players like Milner and their character. He added that Milner was “more than just a football player” and “legends in terms of ultimate team players.”

“As I said before, he could have my title tomorrow, assistant manager. The club are made around these players, around these characters. They are so much more than just football players. They are examples, they are truly legends…”

With Lijnders having dubbed Milner his successor, the Dutchman himself is one of the candidates expected to succeed Jurgen Klopp once his contract at Merseyside expires.

James Milner of Liverpool celebrating the club’s 4-0 win vs FC Barcelona. ©Getty Images

There is a wish in every Liverpool fan’s heart to see club legend Steven Gerrard succeed as a manager at Anfield and win the Premier League trophy. But in management, as Kenny Dalglish’s second managerial spell at LFC showed us, things are easier said than done.

With the vast experience Milner has, it won’t be a surprise if he stays with the club in a capacity different from that of a player once his contract expires next June. He may not be in the conversation of the Lijnders and the Gerrards to replace Klopp once he leaves.

However, his experience and level-headedness make him an asset in the dressing room. That is perhaps a reason why Klopp and Liverpool extended his contract earlier this year until the end of the 2022/23 season.

More Liverpool News:

Liverpool have had a shaky start to their Premier League campaign this season, drawing against Fulham 2-2. They will hope to resurrect their title charge starting Monday’s game against Crystal Palace.