LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 13, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (L) and first-team development coach Pepijn Lijnders during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 2nd Leg match between Liverpool FC and AC Sparta Praha. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp and Pepijn Lijnders have disagreed on Liverpool’s most influential player

Jurgen Klopp and Pepijn Lijnders formed a world-beating team at Liverpool, but the departing manager and his assistant have disagreed on their game-changer.

Klopp, Lijnders and many of their colleagues have now left Merseyside, taking up ventures elsewhere or, in the boss’ case, enjoying semi-retirement.

Liverpool’s assistant manager will start work as head coach of Red Bull Salzburg this summer, supported by Vitor Matos, and will hope to emulate their success at Anfield.

The Dutchman will take lessons from his years working under Klopp, though it is clear that their relationship was as equals more than anything.

As they wound down their time together at Liverpool, the pair took in various interviews and events to bid farewell to the club.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 20, 2023: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino says an emotional goodbye to the supporters as team-mate goalkeeper Alisson Becker embraces him after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Per The Athletic, during a gathering with all club staff at Anfield that saw him host an hour-long Q&A, Klopp was asked for advice on building a great team.

“Build it around Bobby Firmino!” was the German’s candid response.

Speaking to The Redmen TV, however, Lijnders appeared to give a different take on the most influential player in Liverpool’s success.

“Ali, the one who made everything possible,” he said of Liverpool’s No. 1.

“Without this guy, no chance. No chance, no chance. You need a good, good goalkeeper to win trophies.”

Firmino and Alisson are undoubtedly two of the most important players in the club’s recent success, so neither could be considered the ‘wrong answer’.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 31, 2024: Liverpool's captain Virgil van Dijk (L) and manager Jürgen Klopp celebrate after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There are other contenders, too, with Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold clearly in with a shout of having the biggest impact on this Liverpool side.

Put simply, it shows not only the quality that Klopp and Lijnders were able to work with, but also the ability to nurture their potential.

“Everybody thinks that we, tactically, are the inventors of everything,” Lijnders continued.

“Bobby Firmino invented that role, and knowing that he controls this, and Sadio and Mo in these positions, they play here, win the ball and they are in counter-attacking positions to score.

“That was the idea, we use Mo, Sadio in the best [roles], we use Bobby in the best [role].

“But then we have new players, you need to start developing new ideas.”

Clearly, then, while Lijnders may believe Liverpool would have won nothing without Alisson, he is as big an advocate of Firmino as Klopp.