For Liverpool, there will be no easily replacing a figure as talismanic as Jurgen Klopp, who last week announced he will leave the club at the end of the season.
With sporting director Jorg Schmadtke also stepping down this week, and Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold all out of contract in 18 months, Liverpool face a summer of enormous upheaval.
In the meantime, there are four trophies to be won but, like Arsenal post-Wenger and Manchester United post-Ferguson, it is easy to imagine the Reds are headed for a rocky period of transition when Klopp calls time on nine years at Anfield.
One of the many questions for English football in the aftermath, is whether another club can step up to challenge Manchester City.
Manchester United, soon to be under the part-control of Sir Jim Ratcliffe, will eye a fresh chance to knock Liverpool off their perch, and each of London’s big three must sense an opportunity in the offing — particularly with Pep Guardiola out of contract at Manchester City next year.
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal appear best-placed to take up the mantle of City’s fiercest challengers, having run them close last season.
Arteta is four and a half years into a lavishly-backed project — the Spaniard this week reiterating his commitment to Arsenal amid interest from Barcelona — and the club has acted ruthlessly to shape a young squad in their coach’s image. Insofar as there are concerns, perhaps they are in Arteta’s comments this week that Arsenal have “one of the thinnest squads” in the League.
It was an exaggeration, but there is a question over how Arsenal would cope with a long-term injury to William Saliba or Bukayo Saka, for example, particularly as they will struggle to maintain the same rate of spending in the next few seasons.
At the other end of the Seven Sisters Road, Tottenham have been transformed with remarkable speed by coach Ange Postecoglou, who has secured total buy-in from a promising young squad, supporters and the club’s hierarchy.
Back in 2015, when Klopp joined Liverpool, Spurs were comfortably ahead of the Reds and bubbling up nicely under Mauricio Pochettino. For all their promise under the Argentine, however, Spurs missed the chance to kick on, the club losing focus on the pitch while building a new stadium and Pochettino’s project gradually going stale.
While Spurs’ project may be behind Arsenal’s now, they are perhaps the best-placed of City’s challengers to spend big in the near future, thanks to careful wage control and their stadium revenue.
Chelsea are still to convince that they can be taken seriously since Roman Abramovich sold the club
As for Chelsea, Pochettino’s new side currently trail Liverpool by 17 points, and are still to convince that they can be taken seriously since Roman Abramovich sold the club.
There are, however, some green shoots and next month they have an opportunity to beat Liverpool in the Carabao Cup Final, denying Klopp an emotional win on his farewell tour and perhaps pointing to an upcoming shift in the balance of power between the clubs.
In Chelsea’s favour, they have surely been through the worst turbulence caused by their change in ownership and subsequent decision to spend over £1billion on a radical overhaul of the technical and playing staff.
As Liverpool start over, Chelsea should be settling down and ready to push on, although the quality of their recruitment remains a little unclear.
Since 2017-18, a London team has finished above Liverpool just twice. Now, as the Reds brace for a tricky succession, Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea should all feel in a strong position to take advantage of the upheaval ahead.