There will be no silverware at Anfield this season but Liverpool fans will reflect on a positive season under Jurgen Klopp.
The Liverpool manager’s number one aim at the start of the 2016-17 campaign was to secure qualification for next season’s Champions League, and that goal will be achieved if the Reds defeat Middlesbrough on Sunday.
Klopp will hope to do something that no Liverpool has done since Kenny Dalglish in 1990 - deliver a league title.
A 6-1 win over Watford in November saw the Merseyside outfit reach the Premier League’s summit but Liverpool’s title bid couldn’t last, a string of disappointing results at the start of January leaving them in a battle to finish in the top four.
Yet Klopp believes his side could have sustained their early-season form if not for some key players, including Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson, missing games through injury.
“I think we can all agree that if we could have played our first 12 or 13 for the whole season, and we are only six, seven, eight points away from the very interesting region of the table, then it’s not unlikely that it could have worked,” Klopp said in April, per The Guardian.
“That’s the situation. Adam, Daniel [Sturridge] and so on – lots of different things. Sadio [Mane] and Phil [Coutinho] long-term injuries from challenges. It’s not about the day-to-day, it is just unlucky. That is the best word.”
Klopp arrived at Anfield in October 2015, signing a three-year deal following his departure from Borussia Dortmund.
The life of a Premier League manager isn’t very long these days, but Klopp will hope to sign an extension in the near future.
Yet he’s only too aware that his Liverpool tenure can’t last forever. And when the time comes for him to move on, he knows who he’d like to succeed him.
Klopp's thoughts when Gerrard trained with Liverpool
In an interview with The Times, the 49-year-old revealed that he’s spoken to Steven Gerrard, who coaches Liverpool’s Under-18 team, about replacing him in the dugout.
Klopp also explained what he thought when Gerrard trained with Liverpool in 2015.
"It's perfect that we can involve Steven,” Klopp said. "What a guy, he's fantastic.
"He was one of the world's best footballers ever.
"We had him last winter when he had a break in the USA [from LA Galaxy] and he had a few sessions with us, a few shooting sessions, and I thought what is that? His shooting. Unbelievable.
"I told him when I leave, or the club sack me, I don't care of course who'll be my successor, but I'd love that he'd be it.
"I'll do everything I can to make sure he gets all the information he needs. Because when you join a club you have a big responsibility for the future, and the future of this club needs legends like Steven Gerrard in decisive positions."
From Klopp to Gerrard. That’s one succession plan every Liverpool fan can get behind.
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