Since his arrival in early October 2015, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has gotten Liverpool playing some of the best football in the world and has set the foundations for a very successful tenure.
The charismatic German took charge of Liverpool on October 8th 2015, following the departure of Brendan Rodgers. Despite Rodgers guiding
Liverpool to a 2nd place finish in the league, he failed to deliver silverware in his 3 year spell as manager. This ultimately led to him parting ways with the club, following a 1-1 draw in the Merseyside derby.
At the time of this news breaking, Klopp was enjoying a break from football, following his resignation as manager of Borussia Dortmund. In his 7 years in charge of the German giants, Klopp guided Dortmund to 2 Bundesliga titles, a DFB-Pokal and 2 DFL-Supercups. Due to this, Klopp was understandably a wanted name in the world of football, with many big teams looking to appoint him as their next manager. However, Klopp
decided to turn down the likes of Manchester United and Bayern Munich, in order to take charge of Liverpool.
Liverpool fans were delighted with the progress that the club had made
under Klopp, despite him taking over mid-way through a campaign. The
German had led Liverpool to the Capital One cup and the Europa League final in his first season, but the team were not able to capture either of the two prizes.
The following season, Klopp changed the team to suit his style of play. This
saw the arrivals of Joel Matip, Loris Karius, Sadio Mané, Ragnar Klavan,
Alex Manninger and Georginio Wijnaldum. There were also a lot of
departures, with the likes of Christian Benteke, Joe Allen and Mario Balotelli, among many others, leaving Anfield.
The campaign proved to be another step in the right direction for Klopp’s
men, with Liverpool finishing the 2016/17 season in the top four of the
Premier League. The fourth place finish meant that Liverpool would have to compete in a play-off round in order to reach the group stages of the UEFA Champions League. However, after failing to compete amongst Europe’s elite since 2014, the Liverpool faithful were thrilled with the team’s success regardless.
The 2016/17 season brought a lot of joy and belief amongst Liverpool fans,
but also highlighted the defensive issues that have haunted Liverpool since the departure of club legend Rafael Benítez. The media and football fans from across the globe made these issues apparent to the club, with the Liverpool fans demanding a new central defender.
Recently, Klopp has answered these prayers with the signing of Virgil Van
Dijk. The record breaking £75m price tag caused a few eyebrows to be
raised, even amongst the clubs supporters. However, the overall belief from around the club was that Jürgen Klopp is building something really special at Liverpool, and the owners are backing his vision by providing him with the funds needed to secure top talent.
Naby Keïta, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Virgil Van Dijk are among the
names that Klopp has persuaded to join Liverpool over teams such as
Manchester City, Chelsea and even Spanish giants Barcelona. These clubs
are typically known for securing the top talent, due to their purchasing
power and recent success. So, Klopp being able to attract these top
players is a very positive sign for Liverpool, as they aim to return to the top of world football. One of the main reasons these young players have
chosen to join Klopp at Liverpool could be his proven track record of
developing youngsters into superstars, with the likes of Robert
Lewandowski, Marco Reus and Mario Götze being some of the names that
Klopp has established.
The future looks bright for Liverpool with them currently siting fourth in the Premier League, with a Champion League round of 16 tie against Porto on the horizon and summer signing Mohamed Salah raining in the goals. The team looks well prepared for a gruelling winter period, where squad depth will surely be tested, and despite bowing out of the Carabao Cup at the first hurdle, a FA Cup is still on the cards for Klopp’s reds. With Van Dijk through the door and Keïta joining in the summer, the reds look stronger than ever. Reports are also linking Thomas Lemar and Leon Goretzka to Anfield, and some fans are seeing them as replacements for Emre Can and Philippe Coutinho, with Phil having completed a £145m move to Barcelona, and Emre said to be in talks with Italian Giants Juventus.
Overall it is clear to see that Klopp is taking this Liverpool side to new
heights, by playing scintillating football and signing some of the most talked about names in football. However, the real question is how far can this team really go under Klopp’s command?