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Liverpool U23s next manager: Will the ‘Reds bring in a former player’ to take over?

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There have been a number of managerial movements this season, with the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur both undergoing changes in the dugout.

Elsewhere across Europe, more top managers are finding themselves under pressure to deliver. It remains to be seen whether bosses such as Thomas Tuchel, Zinedine Zidane and Quique Setien will all be in their current roles come the end of the season.

There has been, however, a less noteworthy but potentially significant change at Anfield this week. First team boss Jurgen Klopp looks set to be in charge of Liverpool for quite some time. The German is well on his way to delivering a first Premier League title to the Reds.

But the development has taken place among the youth ranks. And it involves U23s coach Neil Critchley, who has left the role to become head coach at Blackpool.

The 41-year-old moved to Merseyside in 2013, taking over at the club’s U18s. A progression to Liverpool U23s followed soon after. But Critchley has now opted for a more senior role at the League One side.

The coach has certainly had a busy season already. Critchley took charge of two first team matches in recent months. First up was a Carabao Cup tie at Aston Villa, when Klopp had taken his team to Qatar for their ultimately successful Club World Cup journey.

He then also oversaw the FA Cup fourth round replay against Shrewsbury in February. The coach helped guide his youngsters to a 1-0 victory. He can also take much of the credit for the likes of Curtis Jones and Neco Williams getting game time under Klopp this season.

But his exit means the club are now searching for a replacement, one who they hope can achieve similar success.

The Reds have already said that the responsibilities will be assumed by existing staff for the meantime, but that a permanent appointment will be made soon.

There have been a number of names linked with the vacant position, including some high-profile former players.

It’s currently 5/6 for Liverpool U18s coach Barry Lewtas to make the same step up as his predecessor. 

Academy Head of Analysis Tim Jenkins is available at 5/4, with U18s coach and analyst Jonathan Robinson currently 20/1.

It’s 50/1 for U13s coach Anthony Ryan to take over from Critchley.

And it’s Steven Gerrard and Robbie Fowler who are leading the race in terms of former Reds players.

Fowler is currently head coach at Australian A-League club Brisbane Roar, and has been receiving plaudits for his success in the job. The former striker is up for the league’s Manager of the Month award for February, having won the prize in January.

Fowler is available at 50/1 to become the next Liverpool U23s boss.

And his former team-mate Gerrard is currently 66/1. The Rangers manager has been enjoying life in Glasgow in recent months. And his most recent success involved guiding his side past Braga into the Europa League last 16 last month.

Sports Journalism graduate, Liverpool and Northern Ireland fan. Currently working as a freelance journalist for GOAL, while I am a graduate of the FISU Young Reporters Programme at the 2019 Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Can follow me on Twitter or view my linkdin biography or contact me via my email .

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