Friday 9 December 2016

Ex-Ireland international Sean O'Driscoll to become Brendan Rodger's new Liverpool assistant

Former Ireland international being lined up to become Rodgers' assistant manager

Chris Bascombe

Published 30/06/2015 | 02:30

Sean O'Driscoll is set to join the Anfield bootroom
Sean O'Driscoll is set to join the Anfield bootroom

Liverpool are poised to appoint former Ireland international Sean O'Driscoll as the club's new assistant manager.

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Brendan Rodgers is a long-time admirer of the 57-year-old and is eager to add the former Bournemouth, Doncaster Rovers, Nottingham Forest and Bristol City boss to his backroom team.

O'Driscoll, currently working as a coach with England's U-19s, has been a regular visitor to Melwood in recent years, invited to observe Rodgers' coaching sessions.

And, after productive talks regarding the assistant manager vacancy, Liverpool are confident of securing his services for the start of pre-season.

O'Driscoll, who won three caps for Ireland in the 1980s, joined the England set-up a year ago, and Rodgers sees him as part of a generation of coaches who has dedicated his career to evolving a more technical game.

There is no doubt that the duo share a similar philosophy in terms of developing talent - O'Driscoll's former teams were all regularly praised for their purist approach.

Assuming there is no last-minute hitch, O'Driscoll (right) will join the promoted U-16 coach Pepijn Lijnders working with the Liverpool first team.

Lijnders has impressed at the club's academy, where his one-to-one coaching methods forged a strong bond with his players. Rodgers will be hoping for a similar impact at the higher level.

The backroom changes may not end there, with Liverpool still considering whether to offer an opportunity for a former player with coaching ambitions to develop under Rodgers, maintaining a link with the club's past.

The appointments follow the departures of Colin Pascoe and Mike Marsh after the club's end-of-season review concluded that more coaching experience was required to assist Rodgers.

Liverpool were eager to appoint those with both proven coaching credentials, allied to a younger coach (Lijnders) with the long-term ambition to become a top-class manager in his own right.

Medical

Meanwhile, the Reds moved closer to completing the £12.5m on signing of right-back Nathaniel Clyne from Southampton as the 24-year-old underwent a medical yesterday.

Clyne will become the sixth addition to Rodgers' squad since the end of the season, as the Reds continue their revamp in an effort to restore Champions League status.

They have spent around £45m in transfer fees so far - a figure that will rise once a compensation fee is determined for Danny Ings - and the squad investment is not over yet as the major priority remains a new striker.

The number of players recruited is a reflection of where the post-season review concluded the club went so wrong a year ago.

They failed to build on the momentum of their second-place finish in 2014, signing eight players who had minimal impact.

A year ago the club's owners hoped the swelling of the squad would reduce the need for heavy investment in the coming years, with only fine-tuning required.

It is evident that view had to be reassessed with deals put in place for half a team in the last two months.

Of the eight purchases 12 months ago, at least four - Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert, Javier Manquillo and Lazar Markovic - face an uncertain immediate future.

Although a striker is expected to be the final new arrival before the start of next season, it is by no means certain that will end Liverpool's recruitment, especially if there are significant outgoings.

The future of Lucas Leiva, for example, will determine if Liverpool go into the market for a defensive midfielder.

Liverpool would prefer Lucas to stay but he is sure to be a target for numerous clubs.

Elsewhere, Tottenham Hotspur have managed to offload misfit Brazilian midfielder Paulinho to Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande for £9.8m.

The 26-year-old failed to live up to expectations at White Hart Lane after signing for £17m from Brazilian club Corinthians in 2013.

His four-year deal at Guangzhou reunites him with former Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, who included the midfielder in his squad at last year's World Cup.

Paulinho arrived in England with a reputation as an all-action midfielder for Brazil. But he struggled to adapt to the Premier League and failed to stay in the Tottenham side under Mauricio Pochettino. (© Daily Telegraph)

Telegraph.co.uk

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