Klopp to the Kop?

Klopp to Liverpool?

For a little bit, it looked like Brendan Rodgers was going to be the man that finally led Liverpool to a Premier League title. In his second year in charge of the club, the former Swansea City manager had one of the most exciting teams of recent memory at his disposal, but fell just two points short of claiming the title. The departure of Luis Suárez to Barcelona, paired with the constant injury problems of Daniel Sturridge have seen the Reds plummet from the near-pinnacle of the table, to a battle for Europa League competition. Another disappointing start to this season was the last straw for the Fenway Sports Group as they announced Rodgers’ dismissal after a 1-1 draw against bitter rivals Everton at the weekend.

Now, the historic club sits at a pivotal crossroads for their future. Whoever they place at the helm next could return them to the glory that defined Liverpool during the 70s and 80s, or they could sentence them to another brutal trophy drought. The heir apparent for this illustrious position: Jürgen Klopp. The German manager shockingly announced his resignation from Borussia Dortmund at the end of last season, and told fans that he was going to take a brief sabbatical away from the game. However, Klopp has publicly stated his admiration for the club and the temptation of taking over at Anfield could cut his yearlong break a tad short.

When Klopp took over Dortmund in 2008, the club was coming off a miserable Bundesliga campaign where they finished 13th in the league. After just one year in charge, the animated German pushed his new club all the way to sixth, and within the next four years, Dortmund had won the league twice. While, the Liverpool job won’t necessarily this type of overhaul, it will comforting to the Anfield faithful that he is capable of improving a squad that doesn’t have quite the star power of some of the other major clubs.

One of the best talents that Klopp brings to the table is his ability to develop players. During his time at Dortmund, the likes of Mario Gotze, Robert Lewandowski and Marco Reus grew into some of the most sought after talents in the world. At Liverpool, the 48-year-old would have the chance to develop players like Jordan Ibe, fellow German Emre Can, Philippe Coutinho and Joseph Gomez into possibly title-winning talents. If he can even slightly replicate the development that his Dortmund stars had with this core of young talent, Liverpool’s future could hold a lot more silverware.

Let’s take a step away from the Jürgen Klopp hype-train for a moment and look at the other man being linked to replace Brendan Rodgers: Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian manager has most recently ran Real Madrid, Paris Saint Germain and Chelsea. During those three stints, he won two league titles, two domestic cups and the Champions League. However, a trend with all of that success is that he was able to utilize a massive war chest to reinforce his squad, and when he joined the club, they already had world-class talent on their roster.

At Liverpool, Ancelotti will have to work with a greatly reduced transfer budget than he was used to at Real Madrid. No longer will be able to spend tens of millions of dollars every transfer window. Should he go to Anfield, the 56-year-old will be forced to grow and develop the squad already at his disposal. Would he be up to the challenge?

If I were a betting man, I’d put all of my money on Jürgen Klopp being the next manager of Liverpool. With him at the helm, and it truly pains me to say this, I think that Liverpool will soon return to the heights their fans expect and an elusive league title will come sooner rather than later. Klopp’s exciting playing style mixed with his knack for growing youth players will bring some much needed excitement and optimism to Merseyside, and I think most fans can’t wait to see him in action.

 

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About the author: Collin Carpio

 

I am currently a senior at the University of Missouri in the Journalism School. I have been an avid follower of Manchester United since 2006 and of course I support the Stars and Stripes. Due to my St. Louis high school allegiances, I am a big supporter of Brad Davis and Sporting KC in MLS.

 

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