Liverpool chief executive officer Ian Ayre has hailed the club’s appointment of Jurgen Klopp as manager one year on and believes the German is the “perfect man” for the job.
Saturday marks exactly one year since Klopp took charge at Anfield after he replaced the sacked Brendan Rodgers midway through the 2015-16 campaign.
The former Borussia Dortmund boss guided the Reds to two cup finals in his first season in charge and the team currently sit just two points adrift of Premier League leaders Manchester City.
“Whatever happens on the football pitch in the future only time will tell, but I don’t think you could pick a better character to fit this club,” Ayre told the Daily Express. “Seeing that unfold has certainly given me satisfaction.
“It is a massive challenge and won’t be without its ups and downs but in terms of did we get the right man for the job? There is absolutely no question. That stands out a mile.”
Ayre, who is leaving Liverpool at the end of this season and has been offered the role of general manager at TSV 1860 Munich, has praised Klopp’s willingness to place trust in those around him on Merseyside.
“The external view may focus on Jurgen’s energy and emotion but the reality is he is an extremely dedicated guy who values the input from other people,” he added. “So someone like assistant manager Zeljko Buvac will have a profound effect on what we are doing and — whether it is me, the owners, the other coaching staff, the scouts or the commercial department — Jurgen is a real listener.
“It’s not true to say we invested everything in him. He is extremely collaborative. He is prepared to have the debate. He will say his piece and stand his ground, and so he should, but he is a grown-up and he is prepared to accept that not everything will be as he wants.
“When you come to a football club from another country and another league, it is very difficult to be accepted. To get so many people behind him so quickly is great testament to the person he is.”
Defender Dejan Lovren, meanwhile, has lauded the approach the Reds boss takes with his players on and off the pitch.
“He is a perfectionist and so everyone wants to be like him,” the centre-back said. “You want to give perfection during training and give 100 percent on the pitch. It is great to see how intense he is on the touchline.
“He is really emotional and shows that in every part of the game. There are a lot of things that I have learnt from him but he is not just a good manager, he is a good man.
“I will never forget he gave me a couple of days off when I had a problem with my daughter and she was ill and in hospital. She needed an operation.
“It was at the time of the Augsburg game away in February and he said to me, ‘Go to Croatia. Be with your daughter.’ These things are big for a player. He showed his personality then.”