Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool Legacy

Premier League: Brighton is best-coached team in the league, says Klopp
Premier League: Brighton is best-coached team in the league, says Klopp

Jürgen Klopp has announced that he will leave his post as manager of Liverpool FC at the end of the season, but what will his legacy be?

Klopp shocked the footballing world earlier today by confirming he will step down as manager of The Reds at the end of the 2023-24 season. An emotional Klopp appeared in a video interview posted to Liverpool’s official social media profiles.

This is devastating news for the Anfield faithful, as the Red half of Merseyside will no doubt miss the ex-Borussia Dortmund boss when he leaves in the summer. So, just how good has Klopp been for Liverpool? And where does this leave the manager and the club going forward?

Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool Legacy

If Sir Alex Ferguson knocked Liverpool off their perch, Klopp got The Reds back onto it. The difference between Liverpool pre-Klopp and during the German’s reign is chalk and cheese.

In the six seasons before Klopp was appointed in 2015-16, The Reds finished in the top four just once. Of Klopp’s full seasons in charge at Anfield, they’ve only finished outside of the top four once. There can be no doubt that Klopp is the best Liverpool manager of the Premier League era.

Liverpool have won everything under Klopp, with their “heavy metal football” proving to be a devastating tactic to the opposition. The Reds have added a Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, EFL Cup and Club World Cup in the past eight seasons during Klopp’s time.

At the time of writing, Liverpool are the heavy favourites to win the EFL Cup again, as they will face Chelsea in the final. The Reds are also top of the Premier League and are the favourites for the Europa League.

Klopp could end his final season at Liverpool with a treble, and it’d be a huge surprise if they don’t win something. One of those could be a 20th top division title too, equalling the record of their bitter rivals Manchester United.

Is Klopp Liverpool’s greatest-ever manager?

Now, we’ll address the elephant in the room. Some circles from inside and outside of Liverpool claim that Klopp is overrated because he’s not been anywhere near as prolific as Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

That is a very narrow viewpoint, as Liverpool has been Man City’s closest rivals in most of those seasons. For example, without Liverpool, City would’ve won a frankly ridiculous seven Premier League titles in a row.

Thank God for Klopp’s Liverpool in those seasons, otherwise the title race would’ve been a foregone conclusion like we usually see in France and Germany.

So, is Klopp Liverpool’s greatest ever manager? Not even close. A lot of the social media posts doing the rounds are begging for reactions and are heavily relying on recency bias. Klopp is probably on a par with Sir Kenny Dalglish on the final step of the podium of Liverpool’s great managers.

That is dubious as well, as King Kenny won three first division titles as Liverpool manager, as well as two FA Cups during a time when English teams were banned from European competitions.

Bill Shankly and the great Bob Paisley, though, are without a doubt better. Klopp dragged Liverpool out of the doldrums, but Shankly got them from the old second division to winning the first division title within a few seasons, something that Klopp didn’t manage until his fifth campaign.

Paisley’s trophy haul at Anfield is quite frankly ridiculous and very few managers in English football history come close to his achievements.

Where does this leave Liverpool and Klopp?

Some might’ve expected Klopp to move into international management, in particular the Germany job after Euro 2024. Klopp, though, has stated he’d like to try living “a normal life” and will take at least 12 months off from football management. When it comes to stuff like this too, Klopp is a man of his word.

Klopp will more than likely come back to management, he loves the game too much to give it up now. Like Pep after his sabbatical, he’ll be back and likely stronger than ever before. Who he’ll take over again is anybody’s guess, it’ll just depend on which club is available in summer 2025.

And what about Liverpool? Who will take over there? Well, a Liverpool legend has been linked with the job, and thankfully for The Reds, it isn’t Steve Gerrard.

Xabi Alonso is working miracles in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen. Alonso is mounting a title challenge in the Bundesliga and could genuinely topple Bayern Munich. The Spaniard would be a risk because he is an inexperienced manager who hasn’t managed a truly giant club.

However, his style of football would suit Liverpool and he knows the club well from his time as a player there.

Another potentially safer option would be Unai Emery, who has been working miracles at Aston Villa. Emery has taken Villa from relegation candidates to European football and The Villans are the favourites for the Europa Conference League title.

However, his time at Arsenal may make the Anfield board apprehensive about offering him a contract. Other favourites include Brighton’s Roberto de Zerbi and current Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders.

Whoever Liverpool choose, though, will struggle to replicate the success Klopp brought and he’ll have very big shoes to fill.

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