Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag says Jurgen Klopp’s looming departure from Liverpool is ‘no good’ for the Premier League but understands why he has decided to step down.
The German coach made the shock announcement on Friday morning, saying he had run out of energy to continue leading the club after eight-and-a-half trophy-laden campaigns.
Despite Klopp’s concerns about his ability to lead the team, Liverpool are currently top of the Premier League table – 16 points ahead of United – and have the meanest defence in the division.
Ahead of his own side’s FA Cup fourth-round tie against Newport County, Ten Hag congratulated Klopp on everything he has achieved at Liverpool and sympathised with the burnout he is now feeling.
Asked for his thoughts on Klopp’s departure announcement, Ten Hag said: ‘It’s no good for the Premier League.
‘So he has made an era there, he built the club, he brought the club back where they belong, so congratulations on that. He has done an amazing job in Liverpool.’
He continued: ‘I can understand [he ran out of energy]. Nine years is a long time.
‘I think it’s a period of building up, achieving targets but also I think setbacks and going into difficult periods.
‘The Premier League is very intense, the combination with European club football, when you’re there nine years it’s a long period.
‘I can understand he is running out of energy and that is one of his arguments to step down.’
Unless they are drawn against each other in the FA Cup, a Premier League clash at Old Trafford at the start of April will be Klopp’s final match against the Red Devils.
He has an impressive record against United, losing just four of 19 meetings, while last season’s 7-0 victory at Anfield represents the biggest defeat the Red Devils have ever suffered in the Premier League.
Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso is the current frontrunner to succeed Klopp at Liverpool, having guided his unbeaten side to the summit of the Bundesliga table, while the likes of Julian Nagelsmann and Graham Potter are also in the frame.
For more stories like this, check our sport page.
Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.