Pepijn Lijnders arrived at Liverpool when the Reds first hired him to be their U18 coach in 2014.
A year later, the 37-year-old was promoted as the assistant to the first team manager and he held that position until January 2018.
He left the Merseyside club to take the managerial role at Dutch side NEC Nijmegen. Handed an 18-month contract, he was sacked later that year after failing to help NEC gain promotion to the Eredivisie.
The Dutchman returned to the Premier League winners’ first team coaching set-up in the summer of 2018 and has been Klopp’s assistant since then.
Lijnders has given a detailed interview to Norway’s TV2 and explained what convinced him to come back to Anfield, just months after leaving the club.
“Jürgen wanted me to come back to be his assistant. He said that we could both be responsible for everything that happens inside the club, and was very clear on what he wanted,” he said.
“He was convinced that we could take the club further, and that together we could manage to conquer a lot.
“I had also formed an image of what things could look like, and it was specifically in that moment that everything became clear to me. Jürgen has that ability to touch your heart. He knows exactly what he wants, and when we talked on the phone it felt right.”
Klopp was right as Liverpool went on to win the Champions League in 2019 and a year later, the former Borussia Dortmund boss helped his side clinch their first Premier League title.
Lijnders detailed Liverpool’s philosophy that helped them achieve success in the last two seasons.
“We always focus on ourselves. We have an aggressive attitude that makes us want to attack the opponent both with and without the ball, for 95 minutes. We will dominate matches no matter who we play against, and in every single moment of the match,” Lijnders explained.
“Our team wants to play in the opponent’s half of the pitch, block their opportunities and play varied from behind. We have to be very aggressive in the moments where we lose the ball. Such moments require very high intensity and focus.
“We want to do it both away and at home, against Barcelona, everywhere and against anyone.”