Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold reactions to Jürgen Klopp exit should worry Liverpool fans

Virgil van Dijk and Jurgen Klopp embrace after Liverpool's win over Wolves, Klopp's last game in charge of the club
Virgil van Dijk was clearly emotional during Jürgen Klopp's farewell -Credit:Getty Images

It’s the end of an era at Anfield, and not only will Jürgen Klopp be leaving, but it’s not out of the question that some of the stars from his time at Liverpool might be following him.

Klopp bid an emotional farewell to the club on Sunday, with his last game in charge resulting in a 2-0 win over Wolves. In truth though, the game was somewhat secondary to the occasion.

The Anfield crowd made sure the German got the send-off he deserved for his nearly nine years in charge. While Klopp managed to keep things together though, some of his players couldn’t hold back the tears.

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Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold were certainly the most emotional out of the squad members saying their final goodbyes. The latter could barely keep it together when talking about Klopp in an interview after the game.

“I’ve been a big part and felt a big part of it. The manager’s made me feel a big part of it,” he told Viaplay while trying to hold back tears.

“I’ve developed as a man, as a player, under his guidance. None of this is possible without him. There’s not much you can say for a person who’s made everything come true for you.

“He’s changed my life, and everyone around me, my whole family. This was all possible through him.

“I can never say thank you enough for that. He made my dreams come true, so a big thank you to him for that.”

He added: “Ask my family, ask anyone. I’m not emotional, I can’t remember the last time I cried!

“Honestly, I haven’t cried in years. So this is very strange for me, it just shows how much he means to me and the club.”

Van Dijk, meanwhile, was seen giving a long hug to his departing manager, with his head buried in Klopp’s shoulder. It’s easy to see why both players would feel so emotional upon the 56-year-old’s departure.

After all, Alexander-Arnold has known no other manager during his professional career. He was handed his debut by Klopp back in 2016, and since then he has developed into one of the world’s top players, and become the club’s vice-captain.

Van Dijk, meanwhile, has become the rock in Liverpool’s defense since signing from Southampton in 2018. Under Klopp’s guidance, he came so close to winning the Ballon d’Or the following year, and has now taken on the captain’s armband from Jordan Henderson.

The emotions would inevitably be flowing then upon Klopp’s departure. There is another slight concern about those tears though.

Both players are about to enter the final year on their contracts at Anfield. Van Dijk explained during yesterday’s scenes that there has been no new offer at least to himself.

“At the moment there is nothing for me to say," he said. "Nothing has changed and nothing is on the table either. No changes in my situation at all."

Given there will be a change of manager in the summer, it’s understandable that the club might hold off on new deals before Arne Slot arrives. That won’t settle any nerves over their futures though.

Both Van Dijk and Alexander-Arnold are vital members of Liverpool’s squad, and offering them new contracts should be something of a no-brainer. It’s for that exact reason though that they won’t be short of offers if they want to keep their options open.

Alexander-Arnold has already been linked with a move to Real Madrid this year. He has spoken previously about wanting to spend the whole of his career at Liverpool, but when such an influential manager as Klopp departs, you wouldn’t blame him if the idea of a new challenge appealed to him.

Hopefully, both Van Dijk and Alexander-Arnold prove to be core members of Slot’s new era at Anfield. Their reactions on Sunday though might have some a little worried that they perhaps know it could have been a goodbye for them as well.