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Liverpool lose key staff member to Newcastle as part of Eddie Howe rebuild

Liverpool have seen head of post-match and elite player development analysis Mark Leyland depart the club to join Newcastle, days before the two clubs meet at Anfield.

Liverpool take on Newcastle on Thursday night in a meeting of two sides with wildly contrasting situations – one sitting second in the Premier League and the other 19th.

Despite a big-money takeover at St James’ Park and a new manager in Eddie Howe, results have remained the same for the Magpies, with a win, a draw and two losses in four games so far.

But Howe is presiding over a slow period of change in the northeast, which includes a shakeup of his backroom staff following Steve Bruce’s exit.

That has seen the arrival of Leyland from Liverpool, just over a year after he was promoted to the role of head of post-match and elite player development analysis at Anfield.

Leyland joined the club from Burnley in 2013, having previously worked as a performance analyst for Everton, but will now fill the position of first-team coach analyst under Howe.

“Mark has joined the club from Liverpool. He’s someone that I worked with at Burnley,” Howe told reporters on Wednesday.

“Really, really good guy, first and foremost, to come in as a coach/analyst, so he’ll be helping us with all our implementation of our training.”

NORWICH, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 21, 2021: Liverpool's first-team development coach Pepijn Lijnders (L) and manager Jürgen Klopp during the pre-match warm-up before the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Norwich City FC and Liverpool FC at Carrow Road. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is a broadening of Leyland’s role, and according to the Independent‘s Melissa Reddy, this helped convince Jurgen Klopp and Pepijn Lijnders to allow him to leave midway through the campaign.

Reddy writes that the Liverpool manager and his assistant “were keen for him to stay but appreciated he couldn’t rebuff the opportunity to advance his career by assuming greater responsibility and shifting into a coaching setup.”

She adds that: “There is no concern over exits [at Liverpool] as the structure, talent pool and transition process is solid at the club.”

It remains to be seen how the Reds will replace Leyland, though it seems likely that Daniel Spearritt, who serves as post-match and elite player development analyst, will be promoted.

Leyland had worked closely with Klopp’s other assistant, Peter Krawietz, on a daily basis, but now embarks on a different challenge at St James’ Park.

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