Jürgen Klopp prediction when he announced Liverpool exit holds true for Arne Slot

Jürgen Klopp of Liverpool addresses the media at a club press conference ahead of the Emirates FA Cup tie with Norwich City at AXA Training Centre on January 26, 2024 in Kirkby, England. The club and Jurgen Klopp announced earlier in the day that he was to leave the club at end of the current season bringing an end to his successful nine year spell at the club.
Jürgen Klopp speaking at the first press conference following the announcement of his Liverpool exit. -Credit:Nikki Dyer - LFC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

There is to be no fairytale ending for Jürgen Klopp. Fortunately, however, almost nine years do not boil down to a few weeks at the end of his final season.

Everyone at Liverpool was rooting for a fitting farewell, but its failure to materialize will not make the Anfield send-off any less spectacular. Klopp has brought plenty of silverware, the latest as recently as February — but far more importantly, he has brought joy. He bows out as one of the club's all-time greats.

That's quite daunting for the man who comes next. There's a theory that Xabi Alonso might have had that in mind when deciding to stay at Bayer Leverkusen.

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Whether or not that's true, Alonso is out of the running, and it looks as though Arne Slot is the man to whom Liverpool will turn. It seems all that's left to come is the announcement, with Liverpool and Feyenoord agreeing a compensation package last week.

It's fair to say that Slot was not on many radars even a couple of months ago. He's got a solid body of work behind him, but it's exclusively in the Netherlands, and the jump to Liverpool will be significant.

But with the appointment seemingly imminent, it's worth reflecting on Klopp's words at the time he announced his departure. He made a prediction into which Slot fits nicely.

"So many people work here with only one idea: to find a perfect solution for Liverpool," said Klopp. "And I am pretty sure that will happen.

"This team is set up for the future. When I said Liverpool 2.0 that didn’t include me obviously for the next 10 years but the team is there, the basis is there. Whoever comes in cannot give anybody a guarantee to win trophies but can give a good chance to play really good football. That's fine.

"They will get a top manager here; there will be good football. What we all learned and improved and did in the last few years, changing from doubters to believers and staying believing in difficult moments, if we keep all that, then it is a wonderful future ahead. That is all I want and I don’t want to be the passenger who is disturbing that process."

In the meantime, Liverpool has only added to the backroom staff tasked with finding the 'perfect solution'. Significantly, Michael Edwards has returned to the fold, appointed by FSG as the CEO of Football, while Richard Hughes is set to join as the new sporting director.

Ultimately, as Klopp predicted, there are people in place who can be trusted as much as anybody to make the right decisions. Their process has ended up at Slot, and that in itself is a significant endorsement.

Clearly, he has been identified as somebody who can play 'really good football'. The Dutchman should also heed Klopp's reminder that plenty of the building blocks are already in place; Liverpool 2.0 enjoyed a soft launch this season, and Slot is inheriting a wealth of talent.

Meanwhile, just because Klopp is leaving, it's not time to turn from believers back to doubters. Replacing such a talismanic manager is hard enough without at least being afforded the benefit of the doubt, and Slot deserves some trust in his process.

There's little doubt that it will be a process. Slot takes over a team in far better shape than when Klopp arrived, but it's still only a year since it missed out on the top four altogether, and Manchester City and Arsenal are clearly in a slightly stronger position at the moment. Instant success is not a fair expectation.

Of course, patience will not be limitless, and even the best minds in the business can get decisions wrong — especially ones as tricky as trying to replace someone like Klopp. But Slot comes in with a clean slate, and given time, he looks to have all the tools to succeed. If he can inspire even half as much joy as his predecessor, he will be a great Liverpool manager.