LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 5, 2020: Liverpool's first-team development coach Pepijn Lijnders before the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 235th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Pep Lijnders “proud” of Jurgen Klopp succession talk – but insists it is “not important”

Jurgen Klopp accession talks has left Pepijn Lijnders feeling “proud,” but for now focus remains on the Liverpool of today.

Since first arriving at the club in 2014 as manager of the U15s and 16s, Lijnders’ star has risen exponentially as he now occupies the position of Klopp’s right-hand man.

The 36-year-old’s journey to assistant manager at Anfield first saw him leave to take the helm at NEC Nijmegen for five months in 2018 after having occupied the position of first team development coach.

He would return to Melwood for the 2018/19 season as Klopp’s No. 2, where he recently joined the boss and Peter Krawietz in extending his contract with the Reds until 2024.

Lijnders has quickly endeared himself to supporters and has widely been discussed as Klopp’s long-term successor both prior to and after the German signed his contract extension.

And, in an interview with the Athletic, Lijnders has revealed the pride at being part of the discussion but insisted that it is “not important” at the club’s current stage.

“It makes me proud but it’s not realistic because it’s not important at this moment in time,” he said.

GENK, BELGIUM - Wednesday, October 23, 2019: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (R) and first-team development coach Pepijn Lijnders during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between KRC Genk and Liverpool FC at the KRC Genk Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“My only ambition is to support Jurgen and our project in the best way possible.

“Mike Gordon and Jurgen have been the most important people in my career. They gave me the chance and the belief to lead the process of training and methodology with the first team.

“This is my life. I feel passionate about this club and I feel blessed to work with passionate colleagues. I feel that what we have here in this period we will never experience again in our lives.

“So many things have come together with the owners, the manager, people behind the manager who in hard moments never give up, and a playing group who are so together and really want to play for Liverpool and for us as a staff. In the end, I really hope that we get what the boys deserve.

MADRID, SPAIN - SATURDAY, JUNE 1, 2019: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp and his back room staff celebrate as they lift the European Cup following a 2-0 victory in the UEFA Champions League Final match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Metropolitano. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda) Pepijn Lijnders

“I believe each football project is like the sun rising up and going down, and for our project it’s not even noon. That’s the reason why we committed for another four years.”

The Dutchman clearly exudes passion and understands Liverpool Football Club on all levels, having already referenced Bill Shankly‘s quote that the club is made of a “holy trinity.”

But as he noted himself, there is still a lot more to achieve under the current set up – with more silverware still firmly in sight for this season and beyond.