The German was appointed Brendan Rodgers‘ successor last year on October 8, becoming the 23rd manager in the history of Liverpool Football Club.
Sparking the imaginations of supporters, securing Klopp as manager was widely lauded as a coup for the Reds, given his previous success with Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.
Twelve months later, this has proved to be the case, with Liverpool finding themselves in a very positive position.
But were we right in our vision of Klopp’s influence on Merseyside?
Here we revisit our list of five things to look forward to under the charismatic German, and see whether they have played out.
“A Better-Drilled Defence”
What we originally said: “It is clear that the German has prioritised steadying the ship in his early days on Merseyside, rather than preparing it to move forward at full tilt.”
When Klopp arrived on Merseyside, he explained how he would prioritising an improved back line, saying “the first thing, always, maybe in life, you need to have a stable defence.”
Over his first 12 months with the Reds, Klopp has sprung a number of surprises within his defensive setup, with key players fading away and others emerging from the periphery.
Dejan Lovren, a much-maligned figure during Rodgers’ reign, has rising to the status of first-choice centre-back under Klopp, while Mamadou Sakho, previously a focal figure in the Liverpool defence, finds himself exiled from first-team action in 2016/17.
Elsewhere, James Milner has been remoulded from right winger to left-back, and has shone, while Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan were brought in to replace Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure.
Furthermore, the addition of German goalkeeper Loris Karius this summer has seen Klopp address a problematic situation between the sticks, though as with Liverpool’s defensive record overall, this remains a work in progress.
Under Rodgers, the Reds conceded 201 goals in 166 games, at an average of 1.21 per game, keeping 54 clean sheets, averaging one every three games; under Klopp, Liverpool have conceded 68 goals in 61 games, at an average of 1.12 per game, keeping 20 clean sheets, averaging one every three games.
So while we predicted that “supporters can look forward to many more clean sheets” under Klopp, this is yet to come to fruition.
But with Liverpool arguably only now finding clarity, with roles defined and key positions strengthened, the jury is still out at the back.