The move had a sense of inevitability, but still the news that Liverpool had sacked Brendan Rodgers after the 1-1 draw with Everton on Sunday came as a shock. Now, reports from the Liverpool Echo suggest that the German coach Jurgen Klopp is closing in on becoming his successor.
At Borussia Dortmund, Klopp gained a reputation for building the club up, winning the Bundesliga and reaching the final of the Champions League. His methods have been praised around the world, and he is known to be a huge fan of English football – on paper he seems to be the perfect man to revive the red side of Merseyside.
Bookmakers Betway are that convinced that Klopp is the man for Liverpool that they have stopped offering odds on the former Mainz man arriving at Anfield, but they are offering 5/2 for his new club to finish in the Top Four this season – that has to be his aim, but it won’t be easy.
Klopp did a fantastic job building Dortmund up from the ground. He developed players such as Shinji Kagawa, Nuri Sahin, Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski. He then had to deal with selling his best players while continuing to find success at Signal Iduna Park.
The Premier League will be a much tougher test for Klopp and with the position Liverpool are currently in, there is no guarantee the mercurial German will be able to take his new team back to the Champions League.
Even though Chelsea have struggled, you would expect Jose Mourinho’s side to challenge for the title this season. Both Manchester clubs have looked strong in patches and Arsenal are enjoying a great start to the campaign.
Unlike in the Bundesliga, there will be more clubs standing in Klopp’s way, meaning that Liverpool fans may have to curb their expectations. When he took over at Dortmund in 2008 his first two seasons saw BVB finish fifth and sixth respectively.
It wasn’t until his third season that his work paid off and Dortmund were crowned champions. Liverpool will have to show faith in the German coach, give him the time to implement his ideas and transform the squad into something he can work with.
Liverpool do have a number of players that could thrive under Klopp. One of which is German international Emre Can. Speaking to Die Welt, via ESPN, before Rodgers’ departure, he said: “Jurgen Klopp is certainly a great coach. I think that he’s proven in Dortmund that he could fit in at any club in the world.”
Can has played in a number of positions under Rodgers, but has looked at his best in the midfield. Just like he did with Sahin and Ilkay Gundogan, the former Leverkusen player will be hoping the new man can mould him into a top midfielder.
It will be incredibly tough for Liverpool to break into the top four regardless of who is in charge at Anfield. But if given the time to build the team in his own way, Klopp certainly has the ability to turn their fortunes around – now he just needs patience…not always something that is easily afforded in modern day football.