The Last Season Together: Key Questions for Liverpool After Klopp's Departure
Jurgen Klopp has made a statement that has resonated widely. The coach will leave Liverpool at the end of the season after nine years with the club. The impact of the German's decision to step down will be felt both on and off the field. For FSG, the ownership group of the Reds, tough decisions lie ahead. The search for a replacement for Liverpool's most successful modern-era manager is a significant challenge. However, Klopp's departure will raise a long list of questions that are emerging already.
Finding a new coach will be Liverpool's leadership's primary and most challenging task. Bookmakers consider Xabi Alonso the favorite to replace Klopp, and it's easy to understand why. The Spaniard has a strong connection with the club, having been a player when Liverpool won the Champions League in 2005. Other candidates include Steven Gerrard, Julian Nagelsmann, Roberto De Zerbi, Zinedine Zidane, Antonio Conte, and Jose Mourinho. Liverpool will need to explore all options and make the right choice.
Liverpool rejected Al Ittihad's €150 million transfer offer for Mohamed Salah last summer. If the Saudis return for the player after the season, it will be a more challenging decision for the Reds. Salah, turning 32 in June, will enter the final 12 months of his contract at Anfield. While financially selling Salah for a substantial sum would be a good business decision, it would leave a significant void in the squad.
Loss of Sporting Director
Amidst the loud news of Klopp's departure, many may have forgotten that sporting director Jorg Schmadtke is leaving his post at the end of this month. Liverpool begins the search for a new coach without a sporting director. Building plans for the next season without two crucial figures involved in player recruitment adds complexity to the process.
Future of Liverpool's Owners
In September, FSG sold a minority stake in the club to the American investment company Dynasty Equity, ending rumors of a complete sale, though such rumors persist. Klopp's departure signifies the end of an incredibly successful era, and the future of Liverpool is now uncertain. Key players are not getting younger, and significant investments will be required to keep the team competitive. FSG must decide whether to continue building another successful project or pass the reins to someone else.
Published by Patrick Jane