Former Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard set for Liverpool reunion

Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard -Credit:Photo by Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images

Liverpool's goalkeeping coach, John Achterberg, is set to reunite with former Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard at Al-Ettifaq in the Saudi Pro League. The 52 year old Dutchman, who has been a key figure at Anfield for the past 15 years, will be leaving the Reds alongside manager Jurgen Klopp at the end of the Premier League season.

Achterberg, who joined Liverpool's coaching staff under Rafa Benitez in 2009, initially worked in the club's academy before stepping into a senior role two years later. He has since become a beloved member of the Anfield staff and was instrumental in identifying current No 1 Alisson Becker as a potential signing.

The former Tranmere keeper moved to Merseyside from FC Eindhoven in 1998 and has been serving Liverpool brilliantly ever since. His work was closely observed by Gerrard during his time at the club.

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Last week, Achterberg announced his decision to step down from his role at Liverpool, stating: "After 15 years at the club, I have decided with a heavy heart to leave LFC."""It has been an unbelievable and great journey for me and my family. I have loved each day working at this amazing club, but after a long think I feel it could be right for me to start a new challenge.

""It has been a privilege to work for the biggest and greatest club in world football with its amazing supporters. Whether they are Scouse or non-Scouse, I loved them all worldwide, reports the Mirror.

A massive thank you goes to our manager Jurgen Klopp. ""What joy he gives to all of us.

Klopp has fulfilled all our dreams at LFC. He is one of (the) best managers in the history of the city, the club and world football.

He created world-class teams with his man-management skills, he brought us back to being believers, winners, and a force in European and world football. "For me personally, I cannot thank him enough for everything he has done for me and my family, for the trust he gave me to do my job to the best I can, the joy, inspiration and the great leadership."

Gerrard, 43, was appointed to the role of Villa boss back in November 2021 following the departure of Dean Smith, but remained at the club for less than a year after he was relieved of his duties in October 2022. Villa had won just two of their opening 12 games in the 2022/23 season and sat in 16th place within the Premier League at the time.

After his exit from Villa Park, Gerrard took a break from the managerial hot seat for around nine months before following Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Karim Benzema in accepting lucrative offers to join the Saudi Pro League. The former Liverpool midfielder was named as Al-Ettifaq boss in July and oversaw the additions of Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum and Demarai Gray throughout the summer window.