Liverpool confirm appointment of new ‘elite development coach’

Jurgen Klopp has confirmed the appointment of Vitor Matos as Liverpool’s new elite development coach – filling a role previously vacated by now-assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders.

As reported last week, Matos knows Lijnders from their time together at FC Porto.

The 31-year-old’s role at Liverpool will be bridging the gap from Liverpool’s academy and first-team, ensuring players are ready for the step to senior football – something Lijnders previously oversaw with the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Matos is highly qualified for the role, having previously worked as Porto’s Under-15s coach and more recently as Porto B’s assistant coach. In between those roles he was Youth Team Technical Director at Chinese club Shandong Luneng Taishan.

Fluent in Spanish and English, he holds the UEFA Elite Youth A License qualification and has a Masters in physical education.

Of the appointment, Klopp told the official website: “We had the idea that it makes real sense because we have so many outstanding, young boys.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 1, 2019: Liverpool's new coach Vitor Matos during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Liverpool FC and FC Salzburg. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“The situation is a little bit like this: if you are in pre-season, they are with us and we need them for training, for the games and all that stuff. But then the season starts and all the big guns come back and we don’t want to give them the feeling they are now a bit further away again.

“So we thought it made sense that they really get their specific coach again what Pep did years ago when I came in. I loved the fact I got a sensational assistant manager, but we lost the development coach a little bit.

“We had to fill that void and we’ve done that with a really great guy, an outstanding coach. Young and experienced, you don’t get that a lot. A kind of guy who is used to have six or seven sessions a day.

“He is smart, his English is very good – which is obviously important – and he has worked at different clubs, but is educated at Porto, which is good for us because Pep is from there as well.

“He had made his own experience already and now we can all get the benefit of that. It will be great for the boys 100 per cent.”

Liverpool have a flourishing talent pool coming through the ranks, and clearly Klopp and the club are keen to maximise their chances of progressing to the first-team.

Matos will therefore be working closely with the likes of Rhian Brewster, Paul Glatzel, Ki-Jana Hoever, Sepp van den Berg, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott and co.

Next summer the Reds’ first-team and academy squads will be geographically much closer, with the new training centre at Kirkby being completed.