Via AllinOne Sports
Earlier today, Liverpool announced that Jürgen Klopp has been signed to a new six-year contract extension, according to the Liverpool Echo. Now under contract until 2022, Fenway Sports Group has made its intentions clear about who is going to lead the Reds back to the top of European football. For Reds’ fans, this is fantastic news. Klopp is one of the best managers in the world, and his passionate style of coaching fits perfectly with the culture at Anfield that has been in dire need of revitalizing. Liverpool now has the manager to accomplish this not just in the short term, but in the long term as well.
Although his first season in charge did not finish the way most would have liked, the Reds played a style of football not seen at Anfield since the magical title run of 2013-14. With Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, and the now healthy Daniel Sturridge fit and firing up front, Anfield once again became a vaunted destination for European foes. Klopp has already brought in Sadio Mane to replace the effective yet not dynamic Adam Lallana, and with upwards of £87 million to be reaped through player sales according to This is Anfield to go along with strong backing by club owners, the German manager has plenty of funds to upgrade the starting eleven.
Although the club’s number one target Mahmoud Dahoud appears to be staying at Borussia Monchengladbach for another season, young Porto star Ruben Neves may be the club’s new top midfield target. Klopp has shown a tendency in the past from his time at Borussia Dortmund towards buying players that he can mold into genuine stars. Mane is a very talented winger that can press extremely well and score goals in bunches. However, he does not have the consistency to be a top player quite yet. Klopp can now utilize his pressing abilities and dynamic pace while working with the Senegalese International to build the consistency he was unable to generate at Southampton. Neves is a 19-year-old midfielder tipped to be the next Portuguese star, but he too underperformed at times in this past season. This is perfect for Klopp as he can work with the young player on the training ground, fine tuning his developing skills to help build him into the next Ilkay Gundogan-esque star.
Klopp’s strategy of buying young players that are not the finished product and developing them into stars fits perfectly with FSG’s transfer philosophy. Liverpool does not have the spending power of Chelsea or the Manchester clubs, and this is perfectly fine for Klopp. In fact, he likely prefers this second tier financial status as it allows him to buy players that he can develop into his type of players. Rather than spending £50 million on one star, the Reds can focus on buying good, not great, players for far less money and feel assured that Klopp will be able to get the best out of them. In the past, the Reds’ financial inferiority to that of their competitors was a genuine disadvantage. Under Klopp, the playing field is leveled as the Reds now have a manager that can get the most out of the money he spends. Klopp has shown an ability to buy players that are not quite the finished product and turn them into some of the best players in European football. Klopp can execute FSG’s buy low, sell high transfer policy, but instead of seeing the new players stagnate in their development, Klopp will be able to develop them into top level stars. This will allow the Reds to execute a coherent transfer strategy while building a squad that will not be inferior to those of the richer clubs. Not only is Klopp a fan favorite, but his strategy on the transfer market makes him the perfect choice for Liverpool’s ownership as well.
With the Reds’ title drought now standing at 26 years, the pressure to bring the trophy back to Merseyside is getting higher every season. Plus, with the new Premier League television deal kicking in this season giving every club in the league the financial strength to compete for top players across the continent, the level of competition is poised to increase dramatically. On top of that, top managers such as Antonio Conte, Jose Mourinho, and Pep Guardiola now have all converged in England at three of the Reds’ main rivals. The competitiveness of the Premier League is only rising, and the Reds could not have chosen a better time to have one of the best managers in the world leading the club. If it was not for Klopp, the Reds could be faced with the possibility of falling to mid-table obscurity. Of course, this season Liverpool did finish in that area of the table, but just about anybody around the club would be willing to bet that the Reds will be finishing much closer to first than eighth over the remainder of Klopp’s time on Merseyside. Without Klopp at the helm, the Reds would be in serious danger of falling well behind the traditional English powerhouses.
Liverpool is lucky to have a manager with Klopp’s cache, and now that he is locked up through 2022, the Reds are poised to be a top side for the next half decade. For a club that is beginning to become known as a dreaded “selling-club” it is vital that the Reds are able to return to the Champions League on a yearly basis. With a top manager now leading the club, this goal goes from an ambitious dream to a realistic goal. In the short term, with no European competitions to test the depth of the squad, the 2016-17 season is an excellent opportunity to earn a top four spot and perhaps even challenge for the league title. Although many Liverpool fans are cautious when discussing title challenges after the disappointments of the past couple seasons, anything is possible under Klopp. As this past year’s Europa League run proved, Anfield has been revitalized and with a top manager now working with a dynamic attacking squad simply in need of some consistency, the sky is the limit for Liverpool.