- Klopp will be followed out of Anfield this summer by several influential figures
- The likes of Van Dijk, Salah and Alexander-Arnold have deals running to 2025
- How do you replace a giant like Jurgen Klopp? It’s the end of an era… Mo Salah will move on, will they lose Virgil van Djik, too? It’s All Kicking Off
Let’s imagine Liverpool as a game of Jenga. For the last eight-and-a-half years, the club has been a formidable tower of stability. Now, with the upcoming departure of Jurgen Klopp and several other key components of the club’s make-up, there is a risk the whole structure becomes shaky.
The foundations are still solid. Mike Gordon and Fenway Sports Group are sound owners and chief executive Billy Hogan is a safe pair of hands. The players are top-quality, with a thriving academy in a purple patch of production.
But Klopp leaving was not the only piece to be pulled out of the tower on Friday. Less headline-worthy but still significant was the news of other exits that will follow – Klopp’s long-serving right-hand men Pep Lijnders and Peter Krawietz plus the ‘link man’ Vitor Matos, a coach who serves as a messenger between the academy and first team.
Also buried amid the number of Klopp love-in features on Liverpool’s website was the announcement that sporting director Jorg Schmadtke will leave at the end of the January transfer window. That is no huge surprise. The German, a close ally of Klopp’s, was always seen as a short-term solution.
But these five blocks being pulled out of the tower leave Liverpool, so often credited as one of the best-run clubs in Europe, looking vulnerable.
Virgil van Dijk’s unwillingness to publicly commit his long-term future to the club has caused a stir
Jurgen Klopp’s key assistants Peter Krawietz (middle left) and Pep Lijnders (middle right) will follow him out the Anfield door in the summer
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Virgil van Dijk’s comments, in which Liverpool’s captain refused to commit his long-term future to Anfield, caused a stir to say the least. There are no pressing concerns that he wants out but his reluctance to go on record with a desire to stay sent fans into a state of anxiety on social media.
Who can blame Van Dijk? The…