When news broke on Thursday of Jürgen Klopp staying on at Liverpool for another two years until 2026, supporters around the world sighed a breath of relief.
For over a year, the subject of Klopp’s contract at Liverpool has been a contentious point often mooted by his very own statements when discussing his previous deal which would have seen him leave the club in 2024.
Now, however, FSG can plan for a future with the current boss at the helm for a considerable time. The fact that Klopp seemed keen to stay means he could even further extend his deal beyond 2026 in the future, though in four years’ time he will have already spent a decade at the club, making it the longest managerial reign in his career so far .
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Ultimately, whether it will be in 2026 or beyond, there will come a time when Klopp calls it quits and the club will have to find his successor. But while that task seems like an arduous one at present, especially given the disastrous way Manchester United have struggled to replace a manager of Klopp’s ilk in Sir Alex Ferguson, for Liverpool it may not be as difficult.
FSG have created a stable environment for continuation at Anfield, which will ease the role of Klopp’s successor into a smooth transition. Everything in the background will give a potential heir the perfect environment to succeed.
And if FSG are looking for continuation and a boss who will maintain the same system and style, the club’s owners could look to promote from within.
Speaking about his new contract extension in his pre-match conference ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Newcastle, Klopp praised his assistant Pep Lijnders and predicted a bright future for the man who has often been described as the brains behind the operations at Liverpool.
“I know Pep will be an outstanding manager in the future,” Klopp said. “I really enjoy working together — and Peter Krawietz — and we bought fully into this project. He is not even 40 yet so that is a long time after all this to be by yourself. At the moment we all enjoy the work here together.
“His own ambitions will never stop and I will never stop it.”
Lijnders also extended his contract until 2026 on Thursday by which point he will be 43 years old and potentially a viable candidate to take over from Klopp. By 2026, barring a few month hiatus at NEC Nijmegen, Lijnders would have spent 12 years at the club.
In the old days in the 70s and 80s, Liverpool often promoted from within the backroom staff for the role of the head coach and that’s a tradition that could just continue in the aftermath of Klopp’s departure at Anfield.
From his recent video describing tactics on the Coaches Voice, it’s evident Lijnders is a great thinker when he comes to the world of football. Of course, being an excellent tactician is only one part of the role of a manager. Klopp’s man management skills have also been a huge recipe for his success at the club.
Lijnders is yet to show the same charisma. But from his diary entries written for the club’s official website during pre-season, it was obvious that he is attentive to his players and pays a great deal of attention to how they interact. From describing small details like the way Mohamed Salah instructed Harvey Elliott what to eat at breakfast to praising almost every individual in the squad, it’s clear that he keeps a keen eye across a wide range of aspects.
Already we have seen Lijnders take responsibility at times this season stepping up to do pre-match conferences ahead of League Cup games, and in the next four years, Klopp could continue to gradually promote his right-hand man in order to prepare him to take over the throne.