Opinion: Klopp's extension ominous for footballing world
(Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool tenure will be nudging nine years when his new contract expires at the end of 2023/2024 season. In the last 100 years, only Bob Paisley and Bill Shankly have enjoyed longer spells in the Reds' dugout.

Klopp is on the path to similar legendary status, that much is clear. And yet, even after four years of chaos, then heartbreak, then glory, it feels as if it is only the beginning, as if his vision is only now being realised.

At this moment in time, he is the best manager on the planet. And he is overseeing the best team in the world.

Liverpool have won 15 of their first 16 Premier League matches, displaying such a relentless that an increasing number of observers are already dubbing them champions-elect.

Meanwhile, Manchester City's title defence has unravelled to the extent that they find themselves six points behind Leicester, an uninvited guest in the title race. Pep Guardiola's injury-hit side are locked in a crisis of confidence.

Barcelona and Real Madrid have both dropped 11 points already this term, nine more than Liverpool, despite having played a game fewer. Their days atop the footballing hierarchy are over, for now at least.

And frankly, nobody else merits a place in the discussion. Liverpool's present supremacy is almost an objective fact. 

The foundation for greatness

Friday's news scuppered any hopes of a not-too-distant spanner in the works of the game's most well-oiled machine.

On the pitch, it operates with ruthless efficiency. The full-backs carve out golden opportunities at will for the peerless front three, while the world's best centre-half and goalkeeper hold the fort.

But this has all been built behind-the-scenes, with Klopp at the centre. Liverpool's excellent recruitment has seamlessly facilitated the adoption of his desired style-of-play, all with a relatively meagre net spend.

Indeed, it is telling that Klopp was quick to single out the influence of Sporting Director Michael Edwards as he reflected on his team's rising access after putting pen to paper.

"His input and collaboration has been just as important as anyone else’s in getting us into a position to compete for the game’s top titles," he said.

That might strike you as bog-standard official statement jargon, but here it rings true.

The foundation for Liverpool's greatness is the cohesive relationship between Klopp, Edwards and owners Fenway Sports Group.

And there is no reason to anticipate any lapse. In fact, progress continues. RB Salzburg attacker Takumi Minamino, so versatile and so impressive this season, is set to arrive in January for roughly the same fee for which the Reds sold inexperienced, wantaway winger Ryan Kent in the summer.

Notably, Manchester United were caught flat-footed in the race for his signature, said to be unaware of the player's modest release clause. They can only look enviably at their arch-rivals' operation.

Klopp told the press that his new deal forms part of the club's transfer strategy. Those targeted know they will have the coveted opportunity to work under his tutelage for a number of years.

And after a quiet 2019 window, you can expect one or two headline additions next summer to sustain Liverpool's potential dominance. It truly is a daunting prospect.

Endless possibilities

Klopp has two pieces of silverware under his belt at Anfield, a tally he might well have doubled come the end of the season.

Naturally, we now start to ponder just how much he will collect with the future looking brighter than any Liverpool supporter could possibly have imagined.

Klopp has transformed this almighty club and, with virtually all of his biggest players still some years from decline, the juggernaut appears near-unstoppable.

In this next four-year spell, and perhaps beyond, he will build his legacy...

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