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Liverpool beat rivals with Jurgen Klopp swoop - Owen and McManaman

Liverpool stole a march on their Premier League rivals by appointing Jurgen Klopp to take over at Anfield, according to club legends Michael Owen and Steve McManaman.

After departing Borussia Dortmund in the summer, Klopp moved to England to take over from Brendan Rodgers in October and has impressed -- leading Liverpool to the final of the Capital One Cup and beating Manchester United to reach the Europa League quarterfinals.

Liverpool are ninth in the Premier League table, but in an exclusive interview with ESPN FC, the BT Sport pundits suggested the club's fortunes may rise quicker than local rivals United.

"I have spoken to a lot of ex-players and they would have all liked to see Klopp at their former clubs," McManaman said. "Arsenal, Chelsea and even Man United, they would have all wanted Klopp, so Liverpool did well to nip in there and give him a tempting offer than means he will not go to any of their Premier League rivals.

"I can see why Liverpool fans are excited by what Klopp is bringing to the club. He has all the charisma in the world and is very likable, but he also needs to win football matches and win trophies.

"If they finish strongly, Klopp gets a chance to bring in his new signings and those players click quickly at the start of next season, then there will be some real optimism moving forward."

Klopp will be given a large transfer budget this summer to improve his side, having brought in Steven Caulker on loan from QPR and signed Marko Grujic and Joel Matip in January with a view to next season.

"He has not had a chance to put his stamp on it [his squad] yet and in my eyes, this Liverpool squad needs major surgery," Owen said. "They have been so inconsistent this season and it might take two or three transfer windows for Klopp to get the team he wants. Fans don't want to hear that kind of comment, but it is what everyone associated with Liverpool will have to wait for.

"In the end, he will probably be judged on the quality of the players he brings in and you would hope that after all the talk over the transfer committee and the debate over who signs players for Liverpool, Klopp needs to get a hands-on say in the players coming into the club. He needs to be in control of who comes in and I'm sure he will be. This guy doesn't strike me as a manager who would accept other people making decisions for him."

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