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Is this season Liverpool’s ‘Last Dance’ with Jurgen Klopp stepping down?

Liverpool’s highly successful manager announced he’s stepping down, and the entire club might shift directions.

Liverpool FC v Manchester United - Premier League
Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool and Virgil van Dijk captain of Liverpool at the end of the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United at Anfield on December 17, 2023 in Liverpool, England.
Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp shook up the soccer world Friday, announcing he would be stepping down from his role at the end of the 2023-24 season. Liverpool sit at the top of the Premier League with 17 matches left to play. They are still behind Manchester City on DraftKings Sportsbook when it comes to winning the league, priced at +250 to Man City’s -160.

Klopp has been arguably the most successful manager at Liverpool since he joined the club in 2015, leading the side to a Premier League title in 2020 and a Champions League title in 2019. It was Liverpool’s first domestic league title since 1989-90. The Reds were eighth in the table at the end of Klopp’s first season but rattled off six straight seasons of top-4 finishes before sliding to fifth last year.

However, it’s not just Klopp who could be leaving the club. Sporting director Jorg Schmadtke is set to leave after the January transfer window, which means someone else will be tasked with assembling the roster going forward. Thiago Alcantara is set to be out of a contract after this season while club fixtures Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold will be out of a contract after two seasons. Sadio Mane has already departed the club, and there’s been a lot of rumors surrounding Salah’s future in the last few transfer windows. Even though Alisson and Andy Robertson are under contract for the foreseeable future, they could also be gone if the club decides to shift directions.

Liverpool had an opportunity to complete a quadruple in 2021-22 but saw Man City come back on the final matchday to win the league title. The Reds then lost to Real Madrid in the Champions League final, squandering the most important trophies for them that season. Liverpool will continue its quest for hardware Sunday in the FA Cup, while still being alive for the EFL Carabao Cup, Europa League and Premier League crowns. The club has a chance to send Klopp out with multiple trophies, and that’s a nice boost even with the expectations Liverpool has. We’ll see how this EPL version of ‘The Last Dance’ plays out.