From the moment former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was fired, Jurgen Klopp’s now-completed move to the club was an open secret. And yet it still took seeing him at that trademark new signing table, a pen-cradling hand hovering over some papers, to really believe that a true superstar manager like him would take on the challenge of rebuilding a once-great club in the extremely competitive Premier League.

Maybe it shouldn’t be so much of a surprise. Liverpool are in some ways similar to the Borussia Dortmund team—once a regular contender in Germany that had fallen far from the summit—that Klopp joined back in 2008. By taking this job, Klopp is showing that the appeal offered by a work-in-progress is greater for him than one of the many bigger, richer clubs he could’ve undoubtedly joined had he waited.

At any rate, this is huge for Liverpool. For a while now, their problem has been thinking that their history and sense of entitlement was enough to guarantee them a top-four finish, which led them to cut bait with managers who failed to reach that impossible standard. Hiring Klopp is the first sign that, while it will still take a ton of effort to turn the Reds into a contender, it’s not out of the question that it could actually happen.

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