Jurgen Klopp has welcomed Jose Mourinho back to the Premier League, with the Liverpool boss claiming it is “nice” to see the Portuguese returning to management at Tottenham.
Klopp was the man to put the final nail in Mourinho’s coffin at Manchester United, with a 3-1 win at Anfield in December 2018 forcing the Red Devils to make a change in the dugout.
A little under 12 months later and a man who has previously tasted title glory at Chelsea has been handed a third prominent post in England of a distinguished coaching career.
Klopp is pleased to see an old adversary filling a new role, even if he is a little surprised at seeing Spurs part with a manager he faced in the Champions League final just a few months ago.
“Welcome back, Jose!” Klopp told reporters at a press conference looking ahead to Liverpool’s meeting with Crystal Palace on Saturday.
“It’s nice to have him back. He was desperate, you can see that from the time he was not in.
“How quick things change. Five months ago we played [Mauricio] Pochettino in the Champions League final, now he is on holiday. He did a brilliant job at Tottenham.”
Klopp added on the changes in north London, with Mourinho having replaced Pochettino on a deal through to 2023: “When I first heard it, I couldn’t believe it in that moment.
“I really hope he can enjoy a few days, weeks or months off. Jose is motivated highly, so it will be interesting.”
He went on to say of Pochettino, who enjoyed five productive years in the hot-seat at Spurs: “A great guy. My first Premier League game was against him so we have a history.
“Any job that is available he will be in contention. Everything will be fine for him, but it was a big one.”
While domestic rivals are making drastic changes to their ranks, Klopp and Liverpool remain fully focused on matters they can control.
The Reds are eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table, but those at Anfield remain eager to avoid being dragged into a title debate.
Klopp said: “The players are all good. Nothing else to say.
“We don’t think about the title race. Biggest challenge is facing questions about it. It’s just the season we are in. The challenges are the 26 games we have to play.”