Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has paid tribute to Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger ahead of the two sides clashing on Wednesday night.
The Premier League leaders face a stern test of their title credentials when they travel to Anfield, with Wenger hoping to celebrate his 20th year in English football this season in style.
While the Frenchman has experienced some good and bad relationships with his peers over the years, Klopp insists that he is a fan and has begun to appreciate his opposite number’s work more so since arriving in England.
“My respect goes up day by day because it’s really intensive to work in the Premier League, especially in a team with international matches [for their players] too,” he said, as reported by Sky Sports. “He always had my biggest respect but now it’s a little bit bigger since I’m here. That’s really a brilliant job he’s done – 19-and-a-half years.
“He’s a high-quality manager, one of the best in the world for sure. This long period, it’s really rare that you can do this but he did. He’s a football maniac, in the best [sense of the word]. It was always a challenge to play against him and again a challenge that I’m looking forward to.”
The pair have crossed paths on numerous occasions in Europe over the years, but this will certainly be a different atmosphere as the Gunners continue to fight their way towards ending their wait for a title.
In contrast, Liverpool moved to address their defensive injury crisis with the loan signing of Steven Caulker this week, and Klopp will hope that his side can begin to find some consistency in their bid to move further up the table and qualify for Europe.
The Reds remain six points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham, while they trail Wednesday’s opponents by 12 points as Klopp hopes to inspire his side to make a late title run in the remaining 18 games of the campaign given the inconsistency that has been seen across the board this year.