Liverpool fans won’t like to hear this, but Jurgen Klopp won’t be their manager forever.
The German has overseen six fantastic seasons at Anfield, but sadly, we may be heading towards the back end of his tenure on Merseyside.
Indeed, Klopp will reportedly leave the Anfield outfit when his contract is up in 2024 – claiming that he plans to take a year off when his current deal expires.
You can judge the success of a manager at any club by a number of metrics. Trophies, win percentages and accolades are but a few, but perhaps the most important thing of a great manager’s legacy is the state they leave the club in.
The biggest criticism Sir Alex Ferguson faces is that he left Manchester United with an ageing squad an impending period of transition, while Liverpool legend Bill Shankly did the exact opposite back in the 1970s.
Jurgen Klopp’s departure can go one of two ways. His current squad is peaking right now, and by the time 2024 rolls around, the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Jordan Henderson and Virgil van Dijk may all still be capable, but they will be winding down.
Klopp could continue persevering with this core and bring more success to Anfield, or he could begin a delicate balancing act of delivering results while building a strong foundation for his successor, whoever that may be.
Luckily for Liverpool, it seems as though the German is going for the second option. The likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Joe Gomez and Ibrahima Konate could all still be flourishing at Anfield by the time Klopp is long gone, but there’s one signing the club could make that almost guarantees a strong post-Klopp era.
Of course, we’re talking about Jude Bellingham.
The Dortmund ace is reportedly the Reds’ top target this summer, and it could be one of the wisest additions they ever make.
The young midfielder looks like he’ll be one of the best midfielders of his generation, and at the age of just 18, the teenager potentially has a decade and a half of top-level football ahead of him.
Bellingham would be brilliant for Liverpool if they bring him in next summer, but his arrival would also give whoever replaces Klopp in 2024 a real chance of continuing the good work the German has done at Anfield for the best part of the last decade.
Whether it’s Steven Gerrard, Pep Lijnders or someone else, the best thing Liverpool can do for their future manager right now is to sign Bellingham and allow his talent to help the club transition into the post-Klopp era.