Steven Gerrard believes Liverpool should begin work on a Jurgen Klopp statue when the Premier League is won, even though “we often wait until people get older” to do so.
The topic of statues is a particularly delicate one in the UK at present, but there is little denying the merit of those currently outside Anfield.
Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley have already been honoured, while a bust of founder John Houlding was installed in front of the Main Stand in 2018.
Sir Kenny Dalglish has also been honoured with his own stand, meaning the club’s three most successful managers already have a permanent place at the stadium—and Gerrard has called for Klopp to follow them.
Liverpool are just six points from a first Premier League title, and a first top-flight title since 1990, which will be the club’s 19th throughout their history, dating back to the first in 1901.
To restore the Reds to the pinnacle is an exceptional feat from Klopp, and speaking to The Athletic, Gerrard insisted the German deserves a statue even before his career, or his time with the club, comes to an end.
“When you look at the scale of the job he’s done, for sure he deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as those iconic managers,” he said.
“What you need to take into consideration is that when Jurgen took over Liverpool they weren’t close to being the best team in the country, they weren’t even in the top four.
“To come to Liverpool when he did, get to the amount of finals that he has, deliver the sixth European Cup and then deliver the first league title after 30 years…
“For me, someone like Jurgen should be rewarded now. It seems like in football we often wait until people get older before their achievements are fully recognised.
“But I know the owners of Liverpool won’t let that happen. When Jurgen delivers the league they should already be starting work on a statue of him.”
It would be unprecedented for the club to erect a statue of a manager while he is still in charge, but as Gerrard attests it would be a deserved marker of the prestige Klopp has restored on Merseyside.
In the final months under Brendan Rodgers, the Reds were languishing, having failed to capitalise on the title challenge of 2013/14 and dropped back down to totem pole in Europe.
Klopp has brought Liverpool back to the top, and Gerrard has argued that he is “the best manager in the world.”
“I have nothing but respect for Jurgen,” the Rangers manager continued.
“The way the man handles himself, the way he’s been with myself, the way he goes about his business, the way he comes across. I think he’s got a heart and I think he’s got a head.
“He just works for Liverpool. He has come and taken the club to the next level.”
It seems unlikely Liverpool will build a statue for Klopp any time soon, and it is unlikely the manager would be open to the idea during his tenure in charge.
But if his fine work continues it would certainly be an honour earned.