The biggest unknown in the aftermath of Jurgen Klopp's shock announcement that he will leave Liverpool at the end of the season is what impact the news will have on the club's hugely promising campaign.
Klopp dropped the bombshell, which has stunned not just Liverpool fans but the entire football ecosystem, three days after his side reached an eighth cup final of his tenure, and with Liverpool five points clear at the top of the Premier League table and pushing on all four fronts.
There will be speculation that a long goodbye could destabilise their season, particularly if they falter in games against Chelsea and Arsenal in the next fortnight.
"The outside world want to use this decision, laugh about it, want to disturb us," Klopp said as part of an emotional video announcing the news on Friday morning.
“We are Liverpool, we went through harder things together. And you went through harder things before me. Let’s make a strength of it. That would be really cool. Let’s squeeze everything out of this season and have another thing to smile about when we look back in the future.”
If there is any manager who will be able to harness the emotion of the situation to his advantage, it is Klopp.
The German is a force of personality, one of football's great man-managers and Liverpool's most charismatic coach of the modern era - and probably since Bill Shankly.
Like Shankly, Klopp has put Liverpool on the map, or rather *back* on the map, returning the Reds to the top of the English and European game since succeeding Brendan Rodgers as head coach in October 2015.
They won the League title at a canter in 2020 to end an agonising 30-year wait to be English champions, a year after Klopp conquered Europe, Liverpool winning their sixth European Cup. The triumph was sandwiched between defeats in the final to Real Madrid in 2018 and 2022.
The 56-year-old has not just transformed the club but the wider game, his 'gegenpressing' forming a key tenet of the tactical revolution in elite football over the past decade.
Klopp's best sides, including the current one, were high-octane, overwhelming and relentless - "heavy-metal football", he called it - while possessing myriad attacking threats.
While they were rarely able to control matches with the same authority as the sides of his great rival, Pep Guardiola, they were often just as effective, Klopp believing that as many chances could be created by counter-pressing than measured build-up play.
His duel with Guardiola, which promises one final chapter in this season, is one of the greatest in English football history, a clash of styles and personality but underpinned by a fierce mutual respect.
Klopp only once beat Guardiola to the title but Liverpool finished a point behind the Catalan's Manchester City in 2018-19 and 2021-22 - both title races of remarkable quality and consistency.
Five years ago this month, John Stones' clearance off the line by millimetres in City's 2-1 win over Liverpool at the Etihad felt like the difference between the Reds going on to be undefeated League champions, such were the fine margins between the clubs.
There have been many other important matches and junctures in Klopp's time at the club, including the sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in a £148million deal in January 2018.
The sale broke up Liverpool's 'fab four' attack and might have derailed a less forceful manager.
"Klopp has not just transformed Liverpool but the wider game, his 'gegenpressing' forming a key tenet of the tactical revolution in elite football over the past decade"
Klopp simply used the windfall to build his greatest team, recruiting Alisson Becker, Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho, among others, to add steel and solidity to Liverpool's menacing forward play.
The 4-0 win over Barcelona in the 2019 Champions League semi-final was surely his greatest game in charge to date, Liverpool overturning a 3-0 deficit from the first leg in Catalonia at an enchanted Anfield.
They would go on to beat Tottenham in the final in Madrid, while he also won the FA Cup and League Cup double in 2020, beating Chelsea twice on penalties, as well as the Club World Cup and European Super Cup, plus the Community Shield.
Like Sir Alex Ferguson, to whom he was occasionally compared, Klopp was capable of rebuilding teams in his image, and the current new-look squad is flying after last season's disappointing fifth-place finish.
Klopp's trophy haul would have been far greater were it not for Guardiola's dominance at City and one question is whether his time at Anfield will come to be viewed in an even more favourable light after he leaves, should the current champions face sanctions over alleged breaches of Premier League financial rules.
As well as a football pioneer, Klopp has also been outspoken on social issues, using his platform to advocate for the vaccine during the Covid-19 pandemic and oppose politics which were counter to his left-wing views, including Brexit.
Klopp will now begin a long goodbye at Liverpool which will be full of pain from supporters but also joy, particularly if the club can respond to his rallying cry and make this one of their best seasons yet.