Liverpool are almost overloaded with good news as they chase immortality and a historic quadruple, but the announcement that manager Jurgen Klopp has extended his contract with Anfield may be the best yet.
Klopp’s Liverpool is on track to reach its third Champions League final under his leadership after a controlled 2-0 victory against Villarreal in the first leg of their last four ties, and they have already won the Carabao Cup this season.
Furthermore, they will play Chelsea in the FA Cup final at Wembley in May and sit just one point behind leaders and reigning champions Manchester City in search of their second Premier League title under the charismatic German.
He is not exaggerating reality by suggesting that none of this would have been possible without Klopp’s transformative impact since he managed to fire Brendan Rodgers in October 2015.
Klopp’s decision to confirm his intention to stay at Liverpool until 2026 setting up the Premier League’s longest-serving manager for a decade at Anfield is all the more cause for celebration because just weeks ago he was once again talking about making good on his promise to complete his current contract until 2024 and then walk away.
He said in March: “The plan right now is to get to 2024, so ‘thank you very much.'”
Klopp has clearly thought again, no doubt aided by the world-class squad he has assembled who are currently trying to pull off a feat that not even the great Liverpool teams of the past could complete, namely an impressive clean sweep of the four main trophies. .
Once Klopp indicated he might be willing to alter his plans, Liverpool moved with lightning speed to ensure they put pen to paper. He is that important. Indeed, in Liverpool’s current set-up he is irreplaceable.
It comes after Klopp was allowed time and patience to renew, leading Liverpool to the Champions League final in 2018, where they lost to Real Madrid, before winning it against Tottenham the following year, and then adding the coveted first league title in 30 years. in 2019-20.
Liverpool’s current crop is drawing favorable comparisons with every Anfield team of the past, though they still need to confirm that status by adding to the League Cup win against Chelsea at Wembley.
The leadership and management of Klopp, adored by Kop and a source of inspiration for his players, means that this journey of four trophies becomes more visible with each victory.
Manchester City are the most likely hurdle in the league and the Champions League, and while Chelsea will provide formidable opposition in the FA Cup final, Klopp has injected Liverpool players and fans with such confidence and fervor that what it was considered an impossibility for so long now it is possible.
Question marks over Klopp’s long-term future beyond 2024 provided the only cloud on Liverpool’s horizon, but now that he’s been removed, everyone associated with the club will be delighted.
Klopp looked weary onstage last season as football was played behind closed doors amid the pandemic, missing out on the crowd he loves at Anfield and perhaps reflected in the club’s worst home run in six defeats. in a row in the Premier League.
This season he has recovered with the help of the return of the best central defender in the world, Virgil van Dijk, after the serious knee injury that left him out for almost all of last season.
It’s easy to see why Klopp won’t be leaving any time soon. What he has built and launched offers the prospect of a glorious future.
Together with his trusted backing team and the structures developed by the FSG owners, Klopp not only has a team for now, but has shrewdly built for years to come.
For a long time, Liverpool’s attacking trio of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah were the centerpiece of the intense, pressing, forward-footed style that has always been Klopp’s modus operandi.
They are still there, although Salah’s contract remains an issue, but Klopp has brought in the prolific Diogo Jota from Wolves. Liverpool also pulled off another coup in January by signing electrifying Colombian winger Luis Diaz from Porto under Spurs’ noses.
Ibrahima Konate has been an outstanding defensive addition for RB Leipzig, while Thiago Alcantara is now fit and in his prime after an indifferent first season at Liverpool when he was troubled by fitness and fitness issues.
Firmino doesn’t feature as often these days, while 36-year-old James Milner has been a peripheral figure, although he still wields a lot of influence within the squad.
The Liverpool manager has produced a gradual evolution from one outstanding team to another.
The familiar building blocks of goalkeeper Alisson, Van Dijk, towering midfielder Fabinho and others like captain Jordan Henderson and full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson are insured for the long haul. But the face and shape of the team is also changing.
Klopp can oversee the golden days ahead with Liverpool’s younger generation, as Harvey Elliott has already shown his class, while Fulham’s brilliant teenager Fabio Carvalho is scheduled to make it to the end of the season.
Sporting director Michael Edwards has played a key role in putting the pieces together. He leaves in the summer but Julian Ward is being promoted from within and has a close relationship with Klopp.
Klopp is now the next manager likely to build a club dynasty in the manner of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United and Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.
He obviously can’t match his trophy haul or longevity just yet, but Klopp’s extended presence at Liverpool, at least until 2026 under the terms of his new contract, is a huge guarantee of success.
Klopp weighs contract decisions very carefully. He doesn’t sign long-term deals unless he fully intends to honor them, so the fact that he is almost certain to be at Liverpool for another four years has resulted in understandable rejoicing from fans, players and everyone within. Anfield.
The logic is simple common sense and beyond all discussion.
Jurgen Klopp built it. Why walk away from that?