Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher says the Premier League table “would look very different” were Jurgen Klopp in charge of Manchester United, with a “world-class manager” considered to the difference between two rivals experiencing contrasting fortunes.
German tactician Klopp has turned Liverpool into Champions League winners and Premier League title challengers, with impressive progress made on Merseyside over the course of the last four years.
In contrast, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is struggling to inspire results and confidence at Old Trafford, with questions being asked of his long-term future in a demanding post as a result.
United were linked with moves to appoint Klopp in the past, given his success in the Bundesliga at Borussia Dortmund, but have seen him thrive at their arch-rivals to leave them reflecting on what could have been.
Carragher believes things would have been markedly different had the Red Devils taken a different approach to coaching recruitment, with Klopp and Pep Guardiola considered to be managers that improve any side they work with.
He told the Daily Telegraph: “I wrote two years ago that if United had appointed Pep Guardiola they would not be waiting long for the title.
“The same logic applies to Klopp. If he was United's manager, the Premier League table would look very different today.
“Let’s not forget, even amid this vast improvement Liverpool still finished below United in 2016 and 2018.
“That sums up why for all the crowing about owners and executives and scouts the most important figure at any club is the manager.
“Get that right and everyone else looks better.”
Carragher added, with Liverpool preparing to pay a Premier League visit to arch-rivals United on Sunday: “The truth is, in the story of the modern Liverpool we will talk about the club before and after Klopp’s arrival. The club’s transformation quickened after he was unveiled in October 2015.
“Klopp led Liverpool to its current position by meeting a series of demanding but realistic targets one step at a time.
“You can spend all the hours you wish detailing the work of owners, chairmen, chief executives and heads of recruitment, but if you want to sum up what Liverpool possess that United lack, really it comes down to this – a world-class manager.”