Liverpool’s reign over the English Premier League hasn’t yet officially started, at least not until they win the league title next spring. But when they finally reach the top of the mountain and win their long-awaited Premier League title, they might stay there a while.
Liverpool announced recently that they have given manager Jurgen Klopp a new contract that will keep him on the sidelines at Liverpool until 2024. The new pact between Klopp and the Reds extends a partnership that was made in football heaven and is poised to make Liverpool the pre-eminent power in the English Premier League for the foreseeable future.
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At the moment, Liverpool is in the midst of a club-record 33-match unbeaten streak. They are the reigning champion of Europe after winning the UEFA Champions League last spring, one year after the Reds came up short in the Champions League final.
They are also the heavy betting favorite to win the 2019-20 Premier League season, already holding an eight-point lead at the top of the table and a 14-point lead on defending champion Manchester City, who appeared to be their biggest competition heading into the season.
Under Klopp, the Reds have become the envy of almost every football club in England and worldwide. With Klopp agreeing to stay at Anfield for a few more years, Liverpool’s trophy-case additions and domination appear to be only just beginning.
“We are absolutely delighted we have been able to reach an agreement with Jurgen — as well as (assistant managers Pepijn Lijnders and Peter Krawietz) — on extending their time with the club,” the club said in a statement. “As we are sure our supporters would agree, it is truly wonderful news, and we are all extremely thrilled, not only professionally, but personally too.
“We feel this represents one of the big moments of our stewardship of Liverpool Football Club so far as we believe there is no better manager than Jurgen. The decision also keeps with the club’s overall strategy of building from a position of strength.”
In a world in which football managers rarely have a long shelf life at one club, Klopp has proven to be a grand exception. He has already surpassed four seasons at Liverpool, and with his new extension, the German manager will end up spending close to a decade at Anfield.
However, there is no sign that Liverpool is getting sick of Klopp or that the skipper is unhappy with being at Liverpool.
“We decided to continue what worked. So far, not too bad,” Klopp said of the extension. “It’s a wonderful club. We really feel at home. I thought it’s a good moment to continue at the club.
“It was not a difficult negotiation. For me, personally, this is a statement of intent, one which is built on my knowledge of what we as a partnership have achieved so far and what is still there for us to achieve.”
With his tactics, attractive style of play, and engaging personality, it’s hard to imagine any club not wanting Klopp around for the long haul. The on-field accomplishments that Liverpool has achieved under Klopp, not to mention the accomplishments the Reds are poised to achieve in the not-too-distant future, are almost icing on the cake.
Klopp’s track record shows that he’s someone who can be trusted at a club for more than just a couple of years. He spent over seven years at Mainz in his first managerial job and then oversaw Borussia Dortmund for seven full seasons, winning two Bundesliga titles and taking Dortmund to the Champions League final in 2013.
If he lasts until the end of his extension, Klopp will have spent more than seven years at Liverpool. However, with the best likely yet to come, he’s unlikely to wear out his welcome at Anfield anytime soon.
Not Good For All
Of course, while Klopp’s contract extension is good news for Liverpool, the same can’t be said for the rest of the Premier League. This is the second straight season that no team outside of Manchester City has been able to keep pace with Klopp and the Reds.
Even Pep Guardiola’s club is struggling to do so this season, creating an even bigger gap between Liverpool and the rest of England. With the core of Liverpool’s squad in the prime of their careers and showing no signs of slowing down, the task of bridging the gap between the Reds and everyone else feels almost impossible, especially now that Klopp’s Anfield future is secure.
However, there is at least one manager in England who is pleased with Klopp extending his contract with Liverpool and the challenge it presents to the rest of the Premier League. Naturally, that manager is José Mourinho, the current Tottenham and former Chelsea and Manchester United boss.
“We want the best players, coaches, and he’s one of the best,” Mourinho said after learning of Klopp’s extension. “It’s good news for the Premier League. Great news for Liverpool fans, for the players, because it looks clear that they like each other, and their relationship is very good.”
Whether Mourinho will be singing that same tune in a year or two remains to be seen. Right now, it looks like nothing will stop the Reds from winning the Premier League title next spring, officially making them kings of England.
With Klopp transforming Liverpool into a championship club and pledging his commitment for at least four more seasons, he and the Reds could stay on the top for a long time to come.