Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher hoped and thought it would be a few years before Jurgen Klopp would leave the club, admitting that it is a ‘body blow’ that the manager is set to depart at the end of the season.
The shock announcement came on Friday morning, with the German not planning to see out his contract which runs until 2026.
Instead he will leave Anfield at the end of the current season, bringing to an end a spell at the club which began in October 2015.
Follow our live blog for latest news on Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool
In that time the 56-year-old has won the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup with the Reds, also lifting the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.
Carragher admits that he thought Klopp would remain at Liverpool for some time to come, but has called on the club to make sure the German goes out on top with a roaring end to the campaign.
‘This news was always going to be a body blow to the club whenever it came,’ Carragher posted on social media.
‘I just thought it would be another few years away. What a manager, what a man, let’s go out with a bang Jurgen!’
Former Liverpool goalkeeper David James said the news came as a complete shock to him on Thursday, struggling to get his head round the announcement.
‘Firstly I was surprised, shocked and in disbelief,’ James said on Sky Sports News. ‘Like many people I’m sure, I received the news in a group chat and I thought someone was putting out some fake news. I had to check all my news sources to find out. Shocked.
‘It’s not the end of someone’s life or the end of the world, but it is a shock, Jurgen signed a contract to the end of the season after next and the news coming now seems completely out of time, that he’s looking to leave at the end of the season. Like everyone else I’m trying to process everything.’
In his announcement, Klopp said: ‘I can understand that it’s a shock for a lot of people in this moment, when you hear it for the first time, but obviously I can explain it – or at least try to explain it.
‘I love absolutely everything about this club, I love everything about the city, I love everything about our supporters, I love the team, I love the staff. I love everything. But that I still take this decision shows you that I am convinced it is the one I have to take.’
For more stories like this, check our sport page.
Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.