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Jürgen Klopp’s private message to Liverpool players showed why he’s really leaving and it’s fair

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The Liverpool players just proved Jürgen Klopp right, echoing what the manager had told them privately after announcing he would leave at the end of the season.

Jürgen Klopp, the boss of Liverpool, would really like it if every match from now until the end of the season — especially the ones at Anfield — didn’t become all about him. He tried to quell all mentions of his departure until the end of the season at his press conference after Friday’s surprise announcement.

Despite his wishes, Klopp knew what was coming before, during and after the clash with Norwich. He’s taught Liverpool fans a lot, but he won’t get his wish this time.

The best he can hope for is that fans keep their emotions in check when thanking him for his years of service. If they just focus on the talent unfolding in front of them right now, that should be achievable.

After all, there’s incredible talent throughout the Liverpool ranks, as shown in the win over Norwich. Four players who came through the academy started the game and another, Trent Alexander-Arnold, came off the bench.

Four of the five goals were set up by academy players, with James McConnell and Conor Bradley assisting in the first two. Curtis Jones then made the third goal, followed by Virgil van Dijk’s header for the fourth. The fifth goal came from Ryan Gravenberch, assisted by Bradley.

Klopp believes he’s leaving the club in a good place for the next manager, thanks to the young talents in the squad. Indeed, in his private message to the players after he broke the news, The Athletic reports that the Liverpool manager ‘blamed’ them for getting too good:

“During his short speech to the players, Klopp joked that his exit was partly their fault because Liverpool had reached such a high level so soon that he felt he could pass the baton on to someone else,” the story claims. And it’s hard to fault his reasoning after the latest performance, which showed the club’s strong position from the youth ranks up.

Liverpool.com says: Obviously it’s not all about Klopp’s team being too good. He has presided over some truly incredible sides in the past without feeling the need to walk away. But it’s also true that once the idea to quit occurred to him, he was always going to want to leave Liverpool in a good way.

In that sense, then, perhaps it’s true that the remarkable progress shown this season has sped up his decision, even if his private message to players was somewhat in jest. That more or less tallies with the fact he informed the club in November.

And while Liverpool was always going to miss Klopp sorely whenever he chose to depart, it’s fair enough to say that he has set the team up with the best possible chance of success in the new era. The sheer amount of talent, both established and emerging, is hugely exciting.

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