Neil Humphreys: Juergen Klopp must not leave Liverpool for Germany
German tactician is the right coach for Die Mannschaft, but they'll have to wait
Juergen Klopp's inner child must be speaking to him. Whatever he may say publicly, the little boy from Stuttgart has to be flattered by the interest.
His nation needs him. The Germany job is his. Right now.
One phone call to the German Football Association would precipitate a red carpet being rolled over the forgotten carcass of Joachim Loew to celebrate Klopp's homecoming.
He was born to coach Germany. And Die Mannschaft are desperate for a rebirth. It's the perfect union, a romance written in the starry names that Klopp pulled together in his minor revolutions at Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool.
From revolution to renaissance, the time has come for the 53-year-old to succeed where the dogmatic Loew appears to be failing. Klopp and Germany are meant to be.
But he must resist the romanticism of becoming a homecoming hero. Klopp is the right man at the wrong time.
There is plenty of distance left to run at Liverpool, no matter how appealing the Germany position might seem at this juncture.
Life at Anfield is undoubtedly tumultuous. Liverpool's packed treatment room requires a turnstile. Just two months into the season and the weary Reds have accumulated 15 injuries lasting at least 10 days. More will follow in the unrelenting campaign.
Meanwhile, his in-form forward, Mohamed Salah, has seen his second Covid-19 test also return a positive result in Egypt. As long as the virus lingers, he must continue to isolate.
The clash against Leicester City on Monday morning (Singapore time) is already out of the question. Now the Champions League tie against Atalanta on Thursday morning looks unlikely, too.
Klopp could be forgiven a rueful smile when thinking about the world's nicest footballer. Tales of Salah's kindness and generosity are already the stuff of legend in Egypt. But should he really have spent the international break attending a family wedding and accepting an award during a global pandemic?
These are the kind of weekly existential crises that define club management. Loew's current predicament in Germany might feel like a jolly jaunt around the Bavarian Alps in comparison.
And just imagine - as German legend Lothar Matthaeus already has - the immediate, uplifting impact that Klopp brings to any dressing room.
Matthaeus referred to Klopp as the "one person" who can replace Loew. Certainly, the two coaches could hardly be more different, in terms of personality and temperament.
As part of his abrupt squad overhaul after World Cup 2018, Loew turned his back on Mesut Oezil and Sami Khedira, initially, and then dumped Thomas Mueller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng.
None were pillars of consistency. But they were all World Cup winners and largely popular on both sides of the white line. The split was an unhappy one.
In this context, it's worth speculating what Loew might have done with James Milner and Jordan Henderson at Liverpool.
Initially, Milner puffed along the left flank as if pulling a tractor. Under Klopp's guidance, Milner pulled the squad together, acting as a galvanising figure. The 34-year-old was used cleverly and sparingly.
Henderson underwent an even greater metamorphosis. From Steven Gerrard's junior partner, struggling to escape a club legend's shadow, Henderson became a swaggering, trophy-hoarding colossus.
Klopp did that. Henderson has said as much.
Under Klopp, a stirring resurrection of the international careers of Mueller, Hummels and Boateng is not beyond the realms of possibility. He'd stabilise Germany's wobbly defence at the very least.
And Liverpool's manager has a bit of experience in blending the skills of three relatively unheralded forwards and creating the finest attack in Europe. There's an established template for Timo Werner, Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane to follow.
While Joshua Kimmich and Trent Alexander-Arnold are practically peas in pod in terms of playing quarterback roles from similar positions, the prospect of Klopp working with the gifted Kimmich is worth the price of his signature alone.
Not surprisingly, Klopp is among the bookmakers' favourites to succeed Loew, but he'll ignore the inner child and listen to the ego.
English Premier League titles are notoriously tough to defend at the best of times and this is the messiest of times.
Dealing with an injury crisis, Covid-19, a relentless fixture list and an empty stadium represents the greatest challenge of Klopp's career.
He's compelled to take his shot at immortality. After that, fixing Germany's broken team will be a walk in the park.