Liverpool would be better off losing star defender Virgil van Dijk than manager Jurgen Klopp, according to Reds legend Jamie Carragher, who hopes the ‘special’ coach stays for 17 years.
The German won his first trophy in charge of the Merseyside club on Saturday night, engineering a 2-0 victory over Tottenham to claim the Champions League title in Madird.
And Klopp came so close to bringing a first ever Premier League trophy to Anfield this season, only missing out on top spot by one point after amassing an incredible 97 points.
Van Dijk played a key role in both competitions and earned the PFA Player of the Year award for his performances in the English top flight as well as being named man of the match in the European final against Spurs.
But Carragher still does not think the Dutch defender is as important to Liverpool as Klopp.
“I think he [Klopp] is the number one at the club,” Carragher told Sky Sports . “He’s the manager of course, but what I mean is he is the most important figure.
“If you asked me would I rather lose Van Dijk or the manager, I’d say Van Dijk. I think he is a special manager.
“I don’t know what his contract situation is but give him a new one and hopefully now, he can push on. He’s got that monkey off his back with that first big trophy, first time he’s won the Champions League after so many finals without a win.
“Hopefully for him and that set of players, it’s not just a one-off. He’s always done seven years at his clubs so in 2022, it might be seven years. Let’s try and make it 17!”
Klopp had lost six finals in a row before the win on Saturday, a run that spanned his time back to his time in charge of Borussia Dortmund and included two Champions League defeats.
The German’s Dortmund side lost to Bayern Munich in 2013 and then he led Liverpool to a runners-up spot last year after coming off second best against Real Madrid in Kiev.
And Klopp will surely be targeting a league title again next year after revealing he had a phone call with City’s Pep Guardiola after picking up the European trophy.