Former Ajax player Piet Hamberg is set to take over as academy technical director at Liverpool.

Hamberg replaces Steve Heighway, who left the club in April after 18 years in charge.

Reds boss Rafael Benitez said: “We have had very good reports about Piet and he brings great experience to the role.

“Our youngsters can only benefit from working with someone with his background in youth development.”

Benitez has been highly critical of the standard of young player produced by Liverpool’s academy in recent years and has sought to overhaul the running of the club’s facilities.

Chief executive Rick Parry added: “Following the departure of Steve we took the opportunity to review the academy structure and decided to separate the very distinct roles.

“Piet will come in with the specific brief to head up the coaching and development side, while Malcolm Elias will be in charge of all recruitment.”