The loan moves arranged for a number of Liverpool's youngsters in January were the 'best idea' to ensure their ongoing development.

Ovie Ejaria (Sunderland), Marko Grujic (Cardiff City), Ryan Kent (Bristol City) and Harry Wilson (Hull City) departed the club for the Championship on a temporary basis last month in search of regular competitive football at senior level.

The decisions to release them were carefully considered and, ultimately, made with the interests of the players’ long-term careers as the priority.

“It is a good opportunity for the younger players, because with them it is always a question of how to proceed and how to develop,” assistant coach Peter Krawietz told the official Liverpool FC magazine.

“We really like the boys, each single one, and we want to give them the opportunity to become the best football players that they can be and to use all their potential.

“That potential is massive otherwise they wouldn’t have a contract with Liverpool FC.

“So to make the correct decision in each single situation you have to consider what is best for the guy: to keep him here training with the first team and playing in the second team or to make the step to play real professional football and to settle as a first-team player.

“Now there was a situation where we thought it could be the best idea to send them all out on loan and let them make the next steps.

“We will get the players back in the summer and then we can have a look again at what their roles are because we have a lot of highly interesting and highly talented young players, such as Marko, Harry, Ovie and Ryan.”

First-team development coach Pepijn Lijnders left the Reds on a permanent basis in January to take the reins of NEC Nijmegen in the Netherlands.

After assuming the role in 2015, the Dutchman was an important link between the Academy and Melwood – and became a trusted member of Jürgen Klopp’s backroom team.

Asked how Lijnders’ departure has impacted the coaching structure, Krawietz said: “There are a few things, of course, a few tasks to do that Pep had taken over but that’s not the big point.

“The big point is that we lost a fantastic colleague and a great character.

“On the other side of it, you always try to go forward, try to improve and try to find your own role and therefore we wish Pep all the best because it was always clear that he wanted to be a manager one day.

“He made the decision that as of January 1 it was right for him and the right opportunity to use at NEC, so we wish him all the best. Yes, we miss him in a personal way but we can deal with it.”