What does Klopp’s contract extension mean for other Premier League clubs?

Jurgen Klopp’s decision to extend his stay at Liverpool by another two years will come as bad news to the teams looking to break into the Premier League’s title picture.

 

An obvious thing to say perhaps, but it’s worth considering the likely lay of the land in the years to come.

 

While English football is enjoying another golden period, almost unarguably sitting atop the power rankings around Europe with two (perhaps even three) standout teams, it was natural to imagine a downturn was just around the corner.

 

With Klopp originally set to leave Anfield in 2024 and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City contract up in the summer of 2023, the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United will have been rejoicing.

 

Losing such big personalities in the game, never mind a class of coach to have redefined what it takes to succeed in the Premier League, was always likely to see the level dip somewhat.

 

Now, the financial disparity across European football makes it difficult to imagine a scenario where English football falls too far behind, but the same could have been said about the Spanish game when Guardiola and Jose Mourinho were sitting atop of it.

 

Indeed, the same goes for when Klopp and Guardiola battled in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League between 2013 and 2015.

 

Klopp’s extension invariably has an impact on the rest of England’s top teams. At Tottenham, the peak years of Harry Kane and Heung-min Son look set to be spent battling teams their club just cannot compete with over a League campaign.

 

Chelsea, meanwhile, are heading into the unknown at the worst possible time. A trophy-winning machine despite all of their turmoil off the pitch in years gone by, they are losing the safety of Roman Abramovich’s deep pockets all while watching two rivals raise the game further.

 

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal appear to have been building towards something but, with Liverpool and City still likely to be at their best for a few more years, it’s difficult to see how they raise the level of their own success.

 

Consistent qualification for the Champions League and multiple FA Cup wins was enough to keep Arsene Wenger in a job, after all.

 

Manchester United are heading into an era of the unknown but, based on the way in which that club has been run for over a decade now, Erik Ten Hag’s job was always likely to be difficult anyway.

 

With perhaps Liverpool’s greatest ever manager to contend with until his fifth season in charge, United’s grand five-year plan will have to exceed expectations.

 

Over at City, Guardiola has stressed Klopp’s extension will have little bearing on his own future. While that might be true of him, those behind the scenes at the Etihad must be somewhat concerned.

 

Replacing Guardiola was going to be hard enough already, to do so while Klopp is still in the swing of things at Anfield could make it impossible.

City’s domestic dominance may genuinely be at risk in the years to come, which is an incredible notion to consider given just how relentless they have been.

 

Of course, there is no guarantee of Liverpool success solely because Klopp is staying and his final season at Dortmund could serve as a warning. Still, the German has constantly spoken about leaving the club in a better place than the one in which he found it and, after a quick-fire refresh over the last two windows, that very much like it will be the case.

 

Sir Alex Ferguson’s greatest achievement – in his own words – was “knocking Liverpool off their perch”. With Klopp around for the foreseeable future, they could very much get back on it.

Author: Tamara Kim