How Does Klopp Compare to the Best Premier League Managers?

With Jürgen Klopp having bid his Anfield farewell, it is time to reflect on his long and successful tenure as Liverpool manager. There is no questioning the fact will go down as a true club legend. He’s the man who led the Merseyside club to their first-ever Premier League title, after all. But how does he compare against the Premier League’s best? Should Klopp be considered one of the greatest managers of the Premier League era or does the single title win place him just short?

Who Are the Best Premier League Managers?

The best managers
Jürgen Klopp (Fars Media Corporation), Alex Ferguson (Alex_Ferguson.jpg), José Mourinho (Werner100359), Arsène Wenger (Barcex), Pep Guardiola (

To see how Klopp compares against the best the Premier League has offered us, we must get a clear idea of what the competition is. For our comparison, we will be squaring Klopp up against Sir Alex Ferguson, Pep Guardiola, Arsène Wenger and Jose Mourinho. This, we would like to think, is a rather uncontroversial top four. Between them, these men are responsible for 25 Premier League titles and are the only managers who’ve secured more than a single EPL win. But now we have our list, let us see how Klopp compares against them.

Win Ratio

To truly compare Klopp’s achievements to that of the Premier League’s greats, we must use a variety of metrics. Win ratio seems a good place to start as winning as many games as possible is the name of the game as a manager. The below figures look at each manager’s win ratio exclusively in the Premier League.

Manager Win Ratio
Arsène Wenger 57.5%
José Mourinho 59.8%
Jürgen Klopp 62.6%
Alex Ferguson 65.2%
Pep Guardiola 75%

As you can see, Klopp is firmly in the mix here with a very impressive 62.6% win ratio. This is the fourth-highest win ratio of any permanent Premier League manager as Antonio Conte (62.9%) managed to sneak just ahead of Klopp. It is particularly impressive given that Klopp inherited a team that had won just 47% of league matches the season before. So, not only did he make the Reds a much better side, but he managed to maintain this over an extended period.


This brings us to our next area, longevity. In terms of Premier League titles, it is hard to argue against Claudio Ranieri’s triumph with Leicester in 2015/16 being the greatest achievement in the league’s history. One exceptional season (plus four trophyless years at Chelsea beforehand) does not put him among the very best though because this is something that requires consistent greatness.

In the modern era, managers are hired and fired at a rapid rate, so surviving at a big club with ambitious targets is no easy feat. There is something to be said, therefore, about a manager who can deal with this pressure and enjoy an extended spell at one of the top clubs in the country.

Manager Most Consecutive Seasons in Charge (Premier League) Premier League Games Managed
José Mourinho 3 363
Pep Guardiola 8 304
Jürgen Klopp 9 334
Alex Ferguson 21 810
Arsène Wenger 22 828

The figures are accurate as of the end of the 2023/24 season but Pep Guardiola’s numbers may increase if he sticks around at City. Ferguson actually led Man United for 26 years but his reign began before the creation of the Premier League. Klopp also did not quite reach a full nine seasons but as he joined fairly early on in the 2015/16 campaign, we thought it fair to round up.

Although not reaching the longevity recorded by Ferguson or Wenger, Klopp’s (almost) nine seasons in charge is an exceptional feat. As with win percentage, Klopp finds himself fourth on the all-time list with David Moyes (11 full seasons at Everton) the only other man with a longer tenure at a Premier League club.

League Titles

It would be unfair to judge Klopp solely on league titles. Partly because he enjoyed other success, but partly because he happened to be managing in the same era as an outrageously good Man City side. In most other Premier League campaigns, 97 points (2018/19) and 92 points (2021/22) would have been good enough for a league title but as it was, there was one team slightly better.

Manager Premier League Titles Runner-Up
Jürgen Klopp 1 2
José Mourinho 3 2
Arsène Wenger 3 6
Pep Guardiola 6 1
Alex Ferguson 13 5

Still, even one league title and two near misses is a good record for a manager in charge of a club that had last won the English top flight in 1989/90.

Other Silverware

Of course, Premier League records and achievements have to be the focal point of this discussion but other accomplishments are important too. We are not talking about Community Shields here either, but major domestic (FA Cup, League Cup) and European (Champions League, Europa League/UEFA Cup) trophies. In all cases, we are only looking at titles won while managing a Premier League team since the league began in 1992.

Manager Champions League Europa League FA Cup League Cup
Jürgen Klopp 1 0 1 2
José Mourinho 0 1 1 4
Arsène Wenger 0 0 7 0
Pep Guardiola 1 0 2 4
Alex Ferguson 2 0 4 3

With four trophies in total, Klopp has the fewest of any manager on the list but he has claimed the most prestigious of them. His Champions League win in 2019 counts for a lot as it is such an incredibly difficult competition to win.


Money does not guarantee success in football but the less you have to spend, the harder your job becomes. So, it is important to take into consideration how much managers spend when comparing them. The below data shows each manager’s total transfer spend while managing Premier League teams.

Manager Spend Players Purchased
Alex Ferguson €768m 73
Jürgen Klopp €941m 31
Arsène Wenger €955m 97
José Mourinho €1.34bn 64
Pep Guardiola €1.5bn 48

Mourinho brought success to Chelsea but it came at quite the cost. During his first stint at Stamford Bridge, the Portuguese manager spent €367m in a little more than three years. In today’s money that would be around €500 but that ignores the fact football transfer prices have rocketed far more than standard inflation. This explains why Ferguson has the lowest spend despite having the longest tenure.

Pep Guardiola likewise, has brought a huge amount of success to Man City but he has been accused of ‘buying the league’ by some critics. Although the Citizens have toned down their spending of late, they spent over €300m in the 2017/18 season and then close to €350m across the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons.

It is in this area that Klopp stands out as he managed to build a Premier League and Champions League winning side without a particularly large net spent or huge amounts of transfer activity. Between his appointment and his retirement, Klopp’s net spend was £346m. This was much lower than Chelsea (£1bn), Man United (£1bn), Arsenal (£720m), Man City (£630m) and Tottenham (£570m), of which three went this period without a league title.

Klopp Amongst the Best

Jürgen Klopp
Jürgen Klopp (Pete via Flickr)

There has been no change to Alex Ferguson’s position as the greatest Premier League manager ever but Jürgen Klopp fully deserves to be considered among the best to have graced the league.