Lijnders: Homegrown players will inspire Liverpool to success

Lijnders is responsible for helping players like Rhian Brewster to make it into the first team

Lijnders is responsible for helping players like Rhian Brewster to make it into the first team

DEVELOPMENT COACH Pepijn Lijnders says the quality of Liverpool’s Academy players - and the club’s willingness to use them - will give a critical advantage over Premier League rivals.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ovie Ejaria and Ben Woodburn are all now members of the first-team squad under Jürgen Klopp. Rhian Brewster is yet to make a first-team debut, but was top scorer at the recent Under-17 World Cup as England won the trophy.

Lijnders, who has held the unusual role of development coach for the last two years, worked with PSV Eindhoven and Porto before arriving at Anfield to work initially with the U16s in 2014.

"I come from a coaching culture where you produce, you produce and you produce,” he told Liverpool’s official website. “And what you don't have, you buy. Sometimes I have the feeling in England it's the opposite.

"There are a few clubs in the world, only a few, where success is not determined by just trophies, it's trophies and homegrown players. Liverpool is one of them, in my opinion.

"I believe in it, I believe the Academy is a big advantage for us. These two boys and many others are on the right way.

"Everybody always speaks about the future but it can't come quick enough, in my opinion. It's a new generation knocking on the door and we open the door constantly, I think, so there's a pathway.

"It's a must for Liverpool – not just to create players but to win prizes with them. Anfield is screaming for these players, they have everything and they give answers if you let them. We are really pleased that they are part of our structure and part of our ambition."

As development coach, Lijnders is responsible for helping to formulate a 'Liverpool style of play' and smoothing the transition from Academy to first team for homegrown players.

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