Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has confessed he has a ‘nagging fear’ over how long the Reds can continue their successful run once Jurgen Klopp and sporting director Michael Edwards leave the club.
Carragher claimed there is no other manager that could have achieved the success the German has since his arrival at Anfield.
The pundit hailed Liverpool as one of the best-run clubs in world football under FSG’s management but believed the biggest influence on the Reds was the manager.
Jamie Carragher (right) says he has a ‘nagging fear’ for Liverpool if Jurgen Klopp (left) leaves
The 54-year-old’s contract with the club is set to expire in 2024 and he revealed last year that he intends to take a year’s sabbatical when his tenure at Liverpool comes to an end, with retirement even a possibility.
Meanwhile, in a blow to Liverpool, Edwards looks set to leave the club as his deal will run down at the end of the season, and it is reported that he has already informed Anfield chiefs about his decision to step down after several glittering years.
Former Red Carragher revealed he now fears that Klopp, along with Edwards, are irreplaceable.
Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards (left, pictured with manager Jurgen Klopp and owners FSG’s president Mike Gordon) will reportedly leave the club next summer
‘Over the past six years, Liverpool have been among the best-run clubs in world football,’ said Carragher in the Telegraph.
‘But I have a nagging fear. How long can they keep beating the system to challenge for the Premier League and Champions League?
‘With sporting director Michael Edwards delaying extending his contract beyond this season, and Klopp unlikely to stay beyond 2024, many supporters are wondering if Liverpool’s success is despite their business model rather than because of it; the product of amazing individuals rather than an amazing plan.
‘My belief is that the single biggest influence on Liverpool’s success since 2015 is Klopp.
The former Red believes the single biggest influence on Liverpool’s glory since 2015 is Klopp
‘There is excellence around him and naturally the principal owner, John W. Henry, assumes credit for appointing great people to execute his plan, but there is no other manager who could have done what Klopp has at Anfield, ensuring the club consistently punches above its financial weight.
‘Should Edwards not renew his deal, does FSG have so much faith in their model that replacements can slot into place and keep the engine running?
‘You can understand why supporters fear Klopp and to some extent Edwards are irreplaceable.’
Since Klopp’s arrival at Anfield in 2015, Liverpool have returned to glory. The Reds finally ended their 30-year quest for the Premier League title and added their sixth Champions League to the trophy cabinet.
Liverpool lift their first league title in 30 years after their win over Chelsea at Anfield in 2020
Carragher claims there is no other manager that could have achieved Klopp’s success
A lot of that success is owed to the squad renovation that has taken place under Klopp and Edwards.
The sporting director is revered for masterminding some of the club’s most successful transfers since taking over the role in November 2016, including Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Sadio Mane.
But Liverpool saw a rather uneventful transfer window this summer with Ibrahima Konate the sole new addition to the Anfield side.
Defender Ibrahima Konate was the only new arrival at Anfield in this summer transfer window
Once again, Liverpool were one of the Premier League’s low spenders. The Reds were only the 14th-biggest spenders in the country this year and last year they were 10th on that list, having spent less on new players than Sheffield United and Newcastle.
Instead, the Reds targeted player retention, which has seen the club tie down Van Dijk, Alisson, Fabinho, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andrew Robertson and captain Jordan Henderson to new contracts.
However, Carragher is concerned the club cannot continue to get away with spending low but dreaming big – especially in the potential wake of their transfer guru and cult icon manager.
Edwards is responsible for the signings of Virgil van Dijk (centre), Mohamed Salah (left) and Fabinho (far left)
‘You cannot help look at the age of Klopp’s squad without arguing another big transfer window is due soon,’ he said.
‘With so many key players tied down for the long-term, there should be more funds available to buy new players in a year’s time.
‘There are more concerns about squad depth this season. With a couple of injuries to strikers Liverpool will be in trouble, especially as Salah and Sadio Mane will be on African Nations Cup duty in January.
‘Centre back Ibrahima Konate was signed, but the squad needed another attacker. Instead, the resources were directed to retaining and rewarding the existing stars.
‘Because of Klopp’s coaching skill, I still expect Liverpool to challenge and comfortably finish in the top four.’