Pep Lijnders reveals Arsenal’s attempt to lure Liverpool assistant manager away from Anfield

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Snubbed: Pep Lijnders has revealed Arsenal tried and failed to snatch him away from Liverpool  (Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
Snubbed: Pep Lijnders has revealed Arsenal tried and failed to snatch him away from Liverpool (Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Pep Lijnders, the assistant to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, has revealed Mikel Arteta tried to steal him away from Anfield.

The Arsenal boss was appointed as Unai Emery’s successor in 2019 after leaving Manchester City’s coaching staff and duly made a play to bring the Dutchman to the Emirates Stadium with him.

Arteta had met Lijnders while on a course to earn their UEFA badges and asked the 39-year-old to join him as he began life in the Arsenal dugout.

Lijnders has been highly praised for his work alongside Klopp at Anfield as Liverpool returned to the top of both the domestic and European game.

Having first joined the club in 2014 during Brendan Rodgers’ tenure, Klopp would later describe his assistant as “a fantastic coach” after he replaced Zeljko Buvac in 2018.

“Mikel Arteta had asked me to be his assistant manager when he was preparing for his new step into management,” wrote Lijnders – who has brief management experience with Dutch side NEC Nijmegen – in his new book ‘Intensity’.

“We were together years earlier on the Pro Licence course, [though] his request came out of nothing. Mikel had said he felt: “There was just a difference playing Liverpool before and after you came in.

“This was the biggest compliment I ever got from somebody, I think, but I politely said no to him.”

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